It has been estimated by the National Practitioner Data Bank that 80 surgery patients experience mistakes that medical experts claim should "never" happen every week. While all surgical procedures carry a certain amount of risks, errors in the operation room that could have been avoided can lead to devastating injury to the patient. Studies also show that age or experience in the field had no part in protecting a surgical team member from making such mistakes. In fact, a 2008 study by the ANZ Journal of Surgery estimated that 73% of surgical error malpractice involved experienced surgeons and a shocking 83% occurred during procedures that are considered routine.
Rarely is someone's life more dependent on the hands of another human being than in the operating room. The harm done to a patient from an error during surgery can range from mild to severe but it is never excusable. While most surgical errors result in temporary injury to the patient, more than one third of all surgical malpractice incidents are known to result in permanent harm to the patient and it is estimated that 21% of all surgical errors resulted in the death of the patient. While these numbers may be overwhelmingly frightening to any reader, they intend to show that no matter how much the doctor assures their patient of the safety of the procedure, human nature always allows for the possibility of error. In such instances, the patient should know who was at fault and what rights they have to pursue compensation for their wrongdoing. The patient is the one completely at the mercy of the medical team operating on them and is ultimately the target of harm if something should go wrong.
Errors in surgery that lead to injury on the patient can include forgotten surgical instruments inside of the patient's body, the administration of the wrong procedure, operation on the wrong site and surgery on the wrong patient altogether. However, it is important to point out that not all surgical errors are grounds for a malpractice suit. The key is to show that one of the individuals on the medical team operating on the patient failed to provide treatment that met the medical community's established standard of care and that the failure directly resulted in harm to the patient.
Negligence concerning surgery can be the result of a number of factors. During pre-operative preparation, poor administration can lead to mistakes in the medical history of the patient, overlooked allergies and improper diet planning. Overwork or weariness of anyone on the surgery team can lead to distraction and miscommunication, the latter being the most common cause of surgical errors during operation. Such distraction can also be a cause of hasty preparation in the operation room and the failure to the environment and equipment. Such neglect can lead to destructive injuries to the patient including anaphylactic shock, infection, brain injury and excessive blood loss.
As much as we would like to think otherwise, all surgical procedures carry an inherent risk by the nature of the practice. Unforeseen error can occur in the simplest surgeries. However, if those errors were a result of malpractice on the part of a doctor or nurse in the operating room or one involved with the preparation or recovery of the patient and the patient suffered otherwise avoidable injury, then the at-fault individual should be held accountable for their actions. A medical professional's failure to provide reasonable care to their patient can cause any surgical procedure to end in the injury of their patient. If you believe that your injuries were a result of negligence during a surgery procedure, contact a Santa Clarita personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus to receive a case evaluation for free and determine whether you are eligible for claiming compensation.