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Surgical Errors

Medical mistakes made during a surgery may do lasting harm to the patient. A study published by the medical journal Surgery found that one-third of surgical errors identified in a review of medical malpractice settlements and judgments caused permanent injury to the patient.

While any form of invasive surgery carries risks, a preventable medical error is not the same thing as a complication. If an error has been caused by negligence, the injured patient or surviving family members may be eligible for compensation for their losses through a medical malpractice claim.

Kraft & Associates, P.C., investigates and pursues medical malpractice cases on behalf of Texas individuals and families who have been significantly harmed by medical errors. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury during an operation, contact us today for a free and confidential discussion of your legal options.

We’re an established and professional law firm with friendly lawyers and staff who are easy to talk to. Please call us at (214) 999-9999 or contact us online now for a free claim review with no strings attached.

Common Errors During Operations

The medical journal Surgery says that about 80 times a week surgical patients in the U.S. suffer mistakes. These thousands of surgical errors are sometimes referred to as “never events” because they should never happen.

The study found that 6.6 percent of surgical patients identified in the federal repository of medical liability claims died from such errors, 32.9 percent suffered a permanent injury, and 59.2 percent suffered a temporary injury.

The most frequent types of never event identified in the study were:

  • Retained foreign body.
  • Wrong surgical procedure.
  • Wrong-site surgery.
  • Wrong patient.

In the most frequently seen surgical errors, foreign bodies like sponges, needles, clamps and other tools used in surgery are left in the patient’s body after the operation is finished. Surgical sponges are the hardest to track and the most often left behind, the medical journal said.

Other surgical errors that are less common but just as dangerous, include:

  • Pre-operative errors. In preparation for surgery, a patient may be required to follow a specific diet, abstain from eating prior to surgery, take prescribed medications and follow other instructions. Patients must be properly advised of pre-operative routines and their adherence has to be checked.
  • Anesthesia error. The correct anesthesia for the patient and the procedure must be administered in the proper dosage or serious complications may arise. An anesthesiologist must closely monitor the vital signs of a patient who is under anesthesia.
  • Organ puncture or perforation. Accidently puncturing or perforating an organ by striking it with a surgical instrument during an operation may lead to infection, and death or long-term health problems if it goes unnoticed.
  • Post-operative errors. Patients must be monitored during recovery to guard against complications such as infection, blood clots, internal bleeding, and heart or breathing problems.

These types of errors may occur in cases of negligence, such as:

  • Miscommunication among the surgical team, including surgical prep and post-operative personnel. A “hand-off” error is a form of miscommunication that occurs as a patient is transferred from one set of doctors and nurses to another without clear instructions.
  • Failure to instruct the patient on pre-operative procedures or to obtain a complete medical history and other vital information from the patient.
  • Lack of adequate institutional controls, such as checklists, counts of items and materials used (to counter retention of instruments) or other standard operating procedures.
  • Use of inadequate or outdated tools and equipment.
  • Errors in judgment or indecisiveness, including making crucial decisions too slowly.
  • Surgeons practicing outside their specialty, or inexperienced or in-training surgeons being poorly supervised.
  • General negligence, such as acting in haste, inattention, failure to exercise due care, or working while fatigued or otherwise impaired.

If negligence on the part of a physician, surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse, technician, pharmacist, hospital administrators or others causes a surgical patient to be significantly harmed, a medical malpractice case may seek compensation for the patient’s or surviving family members’ losses. This may include past, current and future medical expenses and lost wages, as well as compensation for pain and suffering and other damages.

Contact Our Texas Surgical Error Attorneys

If you or a loved one has suffered an unexpected negative outcome from surgery, the medical malpractice attorneys of Kraft & Associates, P.C., in Dallas can investigate your case and advise you about your legal options. If we can pursue a medical malpractice claim on your behalf, we will work aggressively to obtain a settlement or court award that provides the financial award you deserve.

Medical malpractice cases in Texas are bound by strict statute-of-limitations deadlines. It is crucial to begin work on your claim as soon as possible. Please contact Kraft & Associates today to set up a free, confidential and no-obligation review of your case. Phone us at (214) 999-9999, email kraftlaw@kraftlaw.com, or fill out our online form.

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