There are a variety of errors a healthcare provider may make during the course of a surgery that can cause harm. One common type of surgical mistake is “wrong site surgery” – this occurs when a surgeon operates on the wrong part of a patient’s body. The precautions to prevent “wrong site surgery” are simple to institute and implement. As a result, “wrong site surgery” should never occur, and any such occurrence almost certainly constitutes a failure by a healthcare provider to perform his or her duties to the accepted standard of care.
In addition to “wrong site surgery,” technical errors can occur during surgery. These errors often are the result of manual errors by surgeons, inexperience on the part of the surgeon performing a particular surgical procedure, the improper supervision of a resident physician in the performance of a surgical procedure, or the failure of surgical equipment. These errors can cause damage to the patient’s internal organs, blood vessels, and nerves. Many, if not all of these surgical mistakes are preventable with appropriate surgical training, technique, equipment, and supervision.
Unfortunately, many patients are also subjected to unnecessary surgery. This typically occurs when a surgeon operates on a patient based upon the findings of another physician. For example, many cancer surgeries are preceded by a biopsy (this is especially true with colon, lung, bladder, breast, cervical, ovarian, prostate, and uterine cancer). If a biopsy is mistakenly diagnosed as cancer, the patient may be subjected to painful, harmful, and costly surgery that is completely unnecessary.
Following surgery, additional medical errors can occur that can cause harm to the patient. These errors include the administration of improper medications, transfusing the wrong type of blood, failure to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and the failure to diagnose and treat post-operative infections. Each of these post-surgical complications can be the result of medical malpractice.
The vast majority of surgical mistakes are preventable. Unfortunately, negligence and carelessness on the part of a healthcare provider can cause irrevocable harm to a patient. In cases of a harmful surgical mistake, a malpractice attorney from our Pennsylvania law firm (serving Pittsburgh and all of the surrounding areas) can provide you with the legal counsel and representation you need to protect your rights. In the event that you were harmed as a result of a surgical mistake, we can help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent parties. Though each case is different, you may be eligible to obtain compensation for medical costs (including future medical costs), loss of wages (including future loss of wages), disfigurement, and pain and suffering.