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What are the Most Common Surgical Errors?

There are 6 major surgical errors that have been found to be the most common both nationally and internationally. These errors are most often featured in medical malpractice cases and include the following:

1. Wrong-Procedure Surgical Error

A wrong-procedure surgical error is an error that occurs when your surgeon performs the incorrect surgical procedure on you. An example could be if you were scheduled for a foot amputation, but your surgeon amputates your entire calf instead.

2. Wrong-Site Surgical Error

A wrong-site surgical error is an error that occurs when your surgeon performs your scheduled surgical procedure, but on the wrong part of your body.

This can occur in various ways which include:

  • Incorrect side surgery: This error can only occur with paired bodily structures and examples include removing the incorrect kidney, ovary, or eye
  • Correct side but incorrect location surgery: This error can only occur when there is more than one similar bodily structure for the surgeon to choose from. Examples include removing the incorrect finger on the correct hand or removing the incorrect eye muscle but on the correct eye
  • Correct side and correct site, but incorrect surgery: This error can also be classified as a “wrong-procedure surgical error,” and occurs when your surgeon operates on the correct bodily site but performs the incorrect surgical procedure

3. Wrong-Patient Surgical Error

A wrong-patient surgical error is an error that occurs when your surgeon performs your surgical procedure on another patient or performs another patient’s surgical procedure on you. An example of this could be a surgeon performing an appendectomy that was meant for you on another patient.

4. Anesthesia Error

An anesthesia error is a type of surgical error that occurs when your anesthesiologist fails to administer the necessary anesthetic drugs to you during your surgical procedure. This error can also result from your anesthesiologist incorrectly administering the necessary anesthetic drugs to you during your surgical procedure.

5. Inflicting Nerve Damage

Nerve damage is a type of surgical error that occurs when your surgeon and/or surgical team makes a physical error when operating on you or an error during the administration of your anesthesia. Surgeons must operate in close proximity to your nerves, and just a slight incorrect movement of their hands and surgical instruments can result in sometimes irreversible nerve damage.

6. Foreign Object Negligence

Foreign object negligence is a type of surgical error that occurs when you have had a complicated surgery that has required a surgical team and a variety of surgical tools. The surgical team is responsible for accounting for all the surgical tools used, however, some tools can be left inside your body after surgery is complete. This usually results in severe infections, discomfort, and further surgery to remove the foreign object.

Legal Matters

If you have been a victim of one of these common surgical errors and you wish to open a case of medical malpractice, then you will need to follow the correct medical malpractice legal protocol for your state.

The first thing you should do when you wish to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit, is to hire a qualified medical malpractice lawyer who can guide you through the process whilst adhering to the state laws of NYC. The basic steps of a surgical error medical malpractice case can be quite complex, so it is best to consult with a qualified NYC medical malpractice attorney.

The basic steps for a medical malpractice case include:

  • Contacting the surgeon/surgical team involved
  • Contacting the appropriate medical licensing board
  • Finding out the statute of limitations
  • Getting a certificate of merit
  • Considering settling out of course

Contact

If you believe that you or a family member may have experienced some form of surgical error, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC today and speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys.

When you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen. Call (800) 660-2264 for a free, confidential consultation.