Surgery is a specialized and intricate process. A small oversight can lead to a potentially fatal complication.
According to WebMD, there are more than 4,000 preventable errors during surgery each year, and these cost more than $1.3 billion in medical malpractice payouts. Victims often face lifelong disabilities. Some cannot return to work and require ongoing medical support.
If you were injured due to a healthcare worker’s negligence in Alabama, contact a Montgomery personal-injury lawyer from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. Call 800-537-8185 today to schedule a consultation.
Until then, read on to learn four common – and preventable – surgical errors that may constitute medical malpractice:
- Operating on the Incorrect Location
Due to miscommunication or a lack of surgical preparation, a doctor may operate on the wrong part of a patient’s body. The results can be devastating; the surgeon might remove a healthy organ or amputate the incorrect limb.
- Leaving Foreign Objects inside Patients
It is nauseating to think that a doctor could leave a foreign object in a patient’s body, but this is more common than many people realize. Each year, thousands of patients in the United States leave operating tables with surgical items still in their bodies, according to USA Today.
The consequences of such an error can be severe – particularly if it takes weeks or months to realize the issue. In some cases, victims lose parts of their intestines or suffer infections that cause a lifetime of complications.
- Operating on the Wrong Patient
Thanks to improved communication systems in hospitals, it is uncommon for a doctor to perform surgery on the wrong patient. However, it is still possible that a breakdown in communication among hospital staff and doctors can lead such an error. This can have a lasting impact on unsuspecting patients.
- Performing the Incorrect Procedure
Approximately one-quarter of surgical errors happen when doctors perform the wrong procedure. This can happen when the physician makes a diagnostic mistake, or when there is miscommunication during initial consultations.
A surgeon who performs the incorrect procedure could remove a healthy body part or organ. Also, the initial problem remains untreated and can worsen after the operation.
Other Examples of Medical Malpractice
Although a significant number of medical malpractice claims stem from surgical errors, health-care negligence can happen at any stage of the treatment process. Other examples of malpractice include:
- Mistakes when administering medication;
- Delayed or misdiagnosis;
- Prescribing the wrong medication or the incorrect dosage;
- Birth injuries;
- And anesthesia mistakes.
If you or a loved one was the victim of medical malpractice, then you may be entitled to compensation for health-care bills and other damages related to the incident. A Montgomery personal injury attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC can evaluate your case to determine if you may have grounds for a claim. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling 800-537-8185.