Surgical Errors

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Surgeons, like other doctors, have a duty to their patients to act within a prescribed standard of care. Surgeons also have a duty to their patients to use reasonable care consistent with their training and the knowledge in the specialty field when they are determining the need for surgery and the type and scope of the surgery. They also must use reasonable care in the performance of the surgery and in following the patient post operatively to address surgical complications.

Patients who have suffered complications or injuries or were not cured of a curable condition because of surgical negligence may have rights that can be pursued in a medical malpractice case. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals must exercise reasonable care consistent with their advanced training to achieve a successful outcome in surgery. If they fail to meet acceptable standards in the performance of their duties, and the patient suffers serious complications as a result, they can be held accountable for professional negligence.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or if there has been a wrongful death in the family as a result of surgical negligence or postoperative follow-up, contact the Locks Law Firm today. Our Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York medical malpractice attorneys can review your potential case and determine whether you you may be entitled as compensation for the harm caused to you.

Surgical Injuries

All surgeries carry a degree of risk. However, sometimes avoidable errors may be made during a surgical procedure. Some surgical mistakes clearly amount to negligence and give rise to strong cases.  These may include surgical mistakes such as:

  • Operating on the wrong part of the body, particularly if harm is done to that part of the body.

  • Failure to assure the correct blood type for transfusions.

  • Surgery unrelated to the patient's diagnosis, particularly if it causes harm in an otherwise healthy part of the body or fails to correct the condition for which surgery was undertaken.

  • Surgical instrument left in the body (retractors, sponges, and surgical towels can be left in the body and be the cause of substantial pain and suffering)

  • Operations performed on the wrong patient.

The more common surgical case, however, is more complicated and involves an expert evaluation of the type of surgery used, the methodology, the skill exercised and the post operative care. A common example of this type of case is during a minimally invasive gallbladder removal (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). Often, the gall bladder is too inflamed to give the surgeon adequate visualization of the vessels in the area and serious injury is caused by cutting or clamping the common bile duct or other vessel giving rise to serious postoperative complications. If the physician cannot adequately visualize the field of surgery through the small incision, he should convert the surgery to open procedure, where the critical organs, arteries and ducts can be readily seen.

Surgical error can also occur in the gynecological field when bleeding is not properly diagnosed or treated. In an extreme case, our law firm represented a young woman who wished to preserve her child bearing capacity, in whom an unnecessary hysterectomy was performed. This type of medical negligence case usually involves the careful evaluation of the devastating psychological impact of the loss of the ability to have children when the presenting condition could have been cured without removal of the uterus.

If you have suffered a surgical injury, contact the Locks Law Firm and schedule a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York medical malpractice attorneys can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia is used to enable surgeons to operate and may include general anesthesia where the patient is put to sleep for the duration of the procedure or could involve local anesthesia including spinal or nerve blocks that are used to prevent surgical pain without using general anesthesia. All types of anesthesia carry inherent risks and must be administered with significant care, usually by a board certified anesthesiologist.    

An anesthesia overdosage can result in

  1. brain damage

  2. organ failure

  3. coma

  4. death

Other complications arising from anesthesia include allergic reactions or anaphylactic shock resulting from an adverse reaction to the drug administered.  An anesthesiologist or other physician or dentist administering anesthesia must be prepared to respond promptly when signs of anaphylaxis or overdosage appear. The anesthesiologist must also be aware of other medications that you are taking to avoid adverse drug interactions.

Permanent and serious injuries can result from local anesthesia particularly when it is misplaced and causes damage to a nerve or the spinal cord. This situation may occur in dental procedures as well as outpatient surgeries when reasonable care is not taken to avoid damage to nerves or other structures in the area of the surgery. If you have suffered a serious injury caused by the negligent administration or management of anesthesia, you may have a valid medical negligence claim. Contact our Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York medical malpractice attorneys today. We have extensive experience litigating medical malpractice cases and may be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries, hospital bills, and emotional suffering.

Foreign Objects

In some cases, foreign objects are left inside the body after a surgery. These objects may include scalpels, scissors, sponges, or gauze material used during the course of the surgery. Any foreign object left inside the body can pose a considerable risk to the health of the patient, as these objects can cause infection and pain. If you or a loved one has had a foreign object left inside the body after a surgery, the hospital or healthcare provider responsible for the error is usually liable for any damages that have occurred as a result. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at the Locks Law Firm are determined to protect the rights of victims of medical malpractice. We can help you recover financial compensation for hospital bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering related to your injury.

Incorrect Surgery

An incorrect surgical procedure can be one that is performed on the wrong part of the body. The results of this type of surgical error can be devastating. By performing the wrong surgery on a patient, a doctor is not only failing to treat the existing condition, but also weakening the overall health of the patient by causing additional damage. Surgical errors, such as the amputation of the wrong limb or the removal of the wrong breast, are irreversible and cause lifelong afflictions. Fortunately, these errors can generally be prevented by the exercise of reasonable care by the surgeon and the operating room staff at the outset of surgery.  

In other situations, unnecessary harm occurs when an unduly aggressive surgical approach to the treatment of a condition is undertaken resulting in the loss of a body part or limb unnecessarily. This situation arises when a hysterectomy is performed to correct a condition that could have been cured by much more conservative measures such as a D&C. If you have been injured or disabled in some manner or if a family member has died as a result of an incorrect surgery, we would like to help. Our Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York medical malpractice attorneys are staunch advocates of patients' rights, and our aim at the Locks Law Firm is to hold health care providers responsible for their actions. We believe that the quality of medical care for everyone is improved by the accountability built into the system through medical malpractice cases brought to address serious breaches of the standard of care. Contact our office to schedule a free, confidential consultation, and one of our compassionate lawyers will review your case.

Contact a Locks Law Firm Surgical and Medical Malpractice Lawyer

At the Locks Law Firm, our Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York medical malpractice attorneys have a reputation for securing substantial verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. With the help of one of our experienced lawyers, you can obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact the Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York Offices of the Locks Law Firm today to schedule a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation.

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