Surgical Malpractice Attorneys
Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach Offices serving all of Florida
No surgery is a “minor” surgery. It doesn’t matter if you are having a mole removed or you are having a heart transplant, every surgery involves serious risks to the health and well-being of the patient. The last thing any patient wants to deal with is finding out an error occurred during or after his or her surgery, but it happens plenty in United States hospitals each year.
Just because there was an error in surgery does not always mean that the doctor performed medical malpractice. Because the world of medicine is so complex – and widely misunderstood by jurors – you need an attorney that specializes in medical malpractice to help determine if you have a valid claim.
What Constitutes a Surgical Error?
A surgical error is considered a preventable mistake that happens during a surgery. While all surgeries have the element of risk, that doesn’t mean it is alright for a surgeon to perform a critical error. Patients do sign waivers stating that they understand there are risks, but signing this waiver does not mean you cannot sue a physician if he or she performs negligently during your operation.
Surgical errors are outside of the scope of usual surgical risks; therefore, the liability waiver you sign does not apply in a surgical error lawsuit.
The Reason Surgical Errors Happen
Unfortunately, surgical errors are common. But, that is because there are no two surgeries that are the same – even if they are the similar site and type of surgery. So, even a routine surgery has the potential for surgical errors.
There are some common reasons surgical errors occur, including:
- Surgeon Incompetence – Just because someone is a surgeon does not mean he or she is skilled in every type of surgery nor does it mean they have the competence to perform. If a surgeon is unskilled in a type of procedure, errors are likely to occur – and those errors could be life threatening.
- Preoperative Planning Errors –A surgeon must be prepared before the surgery. This may require him or her to review the patient’s history in order to prepare for any potential complications. This includes giving the patient a list of preoperative instructions so that they are adequately prepared, and making sure all precautions are taken based on the patients’ medical history.
- Work Process Errors –Sometimes a surgeon may make critical errors while performing the surgery – such as missing a critical step during the procedure.
- Lack of Communication – When a surgeon does not clearly communicate with staff about the procedure, errors will inevitably occur. For example, a surgeon may have the wrong site marked; which means the surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body. There may be medication dosing errors or other types of communication errors that can be fatal.
- Fatigue –Unfortunately, surgeons are required to work long hours – sometimes 48 hours at a time. They only get small naps here and there while on shift and their extreme fatigue undoubtedly can lead to critical errors.
- Drugs or Alcohol Use – It is a sad fact, but there are surgeons who will still operate while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Neglect – Sometimes a surgeon simply is not as careful as they should be while performing a procedure. This neglect can lead to fatal mistakes during the procedure.
Types of Surgical Error Claims
There are a variety of claims that may be filed against a surgeon for errors they perform during a surgery, these can include:
- Nerve injury
- Administering too little or too much medication (such as anesthesia errors)
- Performing surgery on the wrong location
- Leaving surgical equipment inside the patient
- Improper sanitization of surgical equipment leading to infection
- Operating on the wrong patient
The Cost of Surgical Errors
The cost of surgical errors is serious. For some patients, they could become permanently disabled, disfigured or even suffer from severe emotional trauma. For some, these surgical errors could result in a loss of life. Because surgical errors most often require extensive follow-up care and additional medical costs, these are one of the more costly types of medical malpractice cases.
Did You Suffer from a Surgical Error? Contact the Attorneys at Leifer Law Firm Now
If you or a loved one is the victim of a surgical error, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case. Contact the surgical malpractice attorneys at Leifer Law Firm today. We are here to aggressively protect your rights against surgeons who failed to offer you the care you deserve. You put your lives in the hands of these professionals – and they need to provide you with an extra duty of care while taking care of you.
Call us today for a free consultation regarding your medical malpractice case. There is no fee if you hire us and we only are paid if we win your case.