Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys Explain Some Important Things You Need to Know About Surgical Errors and Medical Malpractice.
Surgical errors can cause injury, disability and even wrongful death. Not every bad surgical result, however, is medical malpractice. If you think you were the victim of surgical malpractice, here are some important things you need to know.
What is Surgical Malpractice?
To prove a surgical malpractice case, it is not enough to show that the operation was just unsuccessful. Instead, you must prove medical malpractice by demonstrating that the doctor departed from accepted standards of care in the performance of the surgery, and that the departure caused an injury. The phrase “accepted standard of care” is a legal concept that basically requires doctors to use the same care that an average doctor in the same specialty would have used under the same circumstances. There are several common forms of surgical malpractice, including:
- Operating on the wrong body part;
- Operating on the wrong patient;
- Performing the wrong procedure;
- Improperly performing a procedure;
- Failing to properly monitor the patient during surgery;
- Leaving surgical instruments inside the body; and
- Anesthesia errors.
What if I Was Not Advised of the Risks of the Surgery?
Every surgery has certain known risks. Because of this, the law requires that patients be informed of the risks, benefits and alternatives to any proposed surgery. This process, called obtaining informed consent, requires that the doctor discuss the potential risks, benefits and alternatives of surgery with the patient, before the surgery begins.
The purpose of obtaining informed consent is to allow the patient an opportunity to learn about the risks and benefits of surgery, before agreeing to surgery. Usually, this exchange between surgeon and patient is reduced to a writing, called a consent form which is signed by the patient before the surgery. Surgeons are required to have the patient’s informed consent before surgery begins, unless there is a surgical emergency. If a surgeon fails to obtain informed consent, there may be a basis for a medical malpractice claim.
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If you have any questions concerning a potential surgical malpractice claim, you can contact our experienced medical malpractice attorneys for more information by email or by calling (800) 762-9300. You can also simply fill one our our case intake forms, and we will have one of our attorneys get right back to you.
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