Surgical error can result in a media frenzy and big headlines. Stories about doctors operating on the wrong patient or amputating the wrong limb are astonishing to everyone. After all, how could medical professionals make such terrible mistakes?
But the unfortunate truth is that surgeons, staff, and medical facilities do make mistakes. All the time. While most cases of surgical error are not as clear-cut as the headlines about incorrectly amputated legs, the very fact that errors of this magnitude can—and do—occur demonstrate that medical professionals are as capable as error as anyone else.
Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA’s medical malpractice attorneys have represented countless clients injured by surgical errors. Whether a surgery is major or minor, errors and malpractice by medical professionals can have severe, long-lasting, and even permanent consequences.Obvious Error
Believe it or not, instances of fairly obvious surgical negligence occur somewhat frequently. Perhaps the most common of this type of error occurs when medical items or equipment are left inside of patients after surgery. Gauze and medical instruments are left inside of a patient’s body with alarming frequency.
Less common types of obvious error are performing the wrong procedure or operating on the wrong patient or body part. While we tend to think of a surgeon’s job consisting of actually performing surgery, it is of course first and foremost the surgeon’s duty to ensure that he or she performs the correct procedure on the correct body part of the correct person.
Not So Obvious Error
While instances of obvious error (typically categorized as “never events”) do occur, the majority of surgical error occurs in ways that would not be so obvious to the layperson.
In general terms, surgeons, like all medical professionals, must perform operations and procedures according to accepted medical standards. Failure to perform according to these standards is malpractice.
A few examples of this category of error would be using outdated methods or equipment, incorrect anesthesiology dosing or method, instrumental imprecision during the course of surgery, and contamination at the site of incision.
Why Surgical Error Requires a Medical Malpractice Attorney
For untrained individuals, determining whether a surgery was performed according to accepted guidelines would be extremely difficult. Even in cases of obvious error, pursuing the full value of a medical malpractice claim would be extremely difficult.
As a whole, medical malpractice cases are perhaps the most complex and difficult in all of personal injury law. Requiring speedy investigation and filing, expert witnesses, and many hours of both legal and medical investigation, medical malpractice claims and settlements should not be undertaken alone.
The law firm of Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA has represented surgical malpractice clients in Cleveland, Ohio, and throughout the nation for more than thirty years. From the outset, the Lowe Eklund trial team understands how to investigate your claim, gather evidence, and help you achieve the best result in your particular case.
If you or a loved one suffered injury or wrongful death following surgery, you are not alone. Call now for your free consultation.