Surgical negligence usually refers to mistakes that could have been prevented. While some errors are the result of a surgeon’s incompetence, most errors that personal injury attorneys deal with are the result of poor preoperative planning or insufficient procedures.
Why Do Surgical Errors Happen?
Naturally, no two surgeries are alike. The same goes for surgical errors and the causes of those errors. However, as experienced medical lawyers, we have noticed several common reasons for surgical negligence, including:
- Insufficient Work Process – there are times when surgeons incorrectly determine that some steps during surgery are not necessary. Shortcuts are costly when we are talking about surgery.
- Incompetence – sometimes a surgeon has not performed a particular procedure that much and lacks the competency to perform it successfully.
- Poor Communication – a number of critical errors can arise from a surgeon’s failure to communicate. For instance, a surgeon could mark the incorrect site for the procedure, or not ensure that all the necessary equipment is ready. There may even be miscommunication about medication dosages. These kinds of failures can lead to dire consequences.
- Poor Preoperative Planning – it is imperative that surgeons are properly prepared for procedures. This may include preparing for any possible complications that could arise during surgery. It may also include inadequate preparation by nursing staff to ensure that equipment is ready when the surgeon needs it.
- Neglect – unfortunately, there are surgeons who fail to be as careful as they should be. This may include choosing to use surgical equipment that they know is defective.
- Fatigue – surgeons are known to work long hours which can lead to fatigue. Surgeons who are exhausted are more prone to making mistakes.
The Most Common Types of Surgical Errors
Some of the most common kinds of surgical errors that result in medical malpractice cases are:
- Incorrect incisions
- Surgery at the wrong site
- Anesthesiology errors
- Nerve damage during surgery
- Operating on the incorrect patient
- Leaving equipment inside a patient
Of course, every surgical procedure does involve a degree of risk or complications, which can range widely depending on your specific medical procedure. These risks are why patients are required to sign consent forms that advise them of the known risks. However, errors such as those listed above go beyond the accepted risks and you may be entitled to seek compensation for surgical errors.
Do You Need a Medical Lawyer?
Surgical negligence is not to be taken lightly. We trust medical professionals to take care of us and adequately warn us of risks and complications. We expect them to operate on the correct area of our bodies, and with equipment that is in working order. We trust surgeons with our lives.
If you or someone you know has endured surgical negligence, our expert personal injury lawyers in Ontario will be able to help. When it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits, we carefully examine your hospital records, examine staff who were involved with the procedure, and seek advice from highly-regarded medical experts to prove that the surgical error that occurred fell below Canada’s accepted standard of care.
Let us take care of the legalities of a complex case while you focus on your recovery. Get in touch via our online form to book your free consultation with a medical lawyer at Mackesy Smye today.