When Do Surgical Errors Rise to the Level of Medical Malpractice?

Surgical Injury Statistics

Statistics indicate that over 4,000 patients undergoing surgery are injured each year.

These medical mistakes can be disastrous on a patient’s health, and they are preventable in most cases. Read on to learn more about the common causes of surgical errors and what your legal rights may be if you have been injured as a result of preventable surgical malpractice.

Common Surgical Errors

Surgery is a special type of medical procedure that helps treat conditions by altering the body in some way. It often involves removing body parts, cutting or otherwise manipulating the body. Here are the most common types of errors that occur during these procedures:

  • Wrong site surgery
  • Unnecessary surgery or operating on the wrong patient
  • Leaving surgical instruments in the body
  • Intraoperative complication resulting in cardiorespiratory arrest or brain damage
  • Infections
  • Damaging or perforating other internal organs
  • Nerve damage
  • Cutting or nicking an artery and causing an operative bleed or hemorrhage

These various errors are largely preventable, so it’s necessary to determine what caused the error when pursuing a lawsuit.

Common Causes of Surgical Errors

These medical errors can happen for a number of reasons such as:

  • Surgeon incompetence
  • Poor surgical technique
  • Failure to properly identify the relevant surgical anatomy
  • Failure to identify and preserve adjacent nerves or arteries
  • Failure to communicate with assisting nurses or other medical staff
  • Failure to monitor the patient’s vitals
  • Lack of proper surgical planning
  • Substance abuse or intoxication
  • Neglect
  • Improper work procedures

When analyzing what caused the surgical error, it’s important to determine what the proper standard of care would be in a similar surgery. Did the surgeon deviate from the proper standard of care at the time of the error? If so, then his or her medical mistake may be medical malpractice.

What Can I Do to Recover from a Surgical Error?

After a surgical error, patients typically suffer injuries, pain and suffering and financial losses. They may be required to undergo additional surgery to fix the problem or they may endure additional medical bills, prescription costs and lost time from work. In the worst cases, patients can be permanently disabled or even killed by these medical mistakes.

If your injury was caused by medical negligence, then it’s within your rights to pursue the financial compensation you deserve. Medical malpractice lawsuits are usually more complex than other types of litigation, and that’s why it’s important to hire experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers to protect your interests.

Contact a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Case in Pennsylvania

Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys at Matzus Law are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Butler, Cranberry, Greensburg and Washington. Call us today at (412) 206-5300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant Street, Suite 3210, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.