Common Surgical Mistakes By on May 09, 2012

Medical malpractice can take many forms. Among the most common types of medical malpractice, surgical mistakes occur all too routinely, compromising the health of individuals who trusted their surgeons to provide care of a reasonable standard.While surgeons and other medical professionals are not expected to be perfect, they are expected to be competent and not to make careless errors. When surgeons and their teams fail to provide care of a competent standard and an injury or death results, they can be held liable for the losses and expenses faced by victims and their families. Our Utah medical malpractice attorneys have a history of success in making sure that medical professionals are made to answer for their egregious surgical mistakes, and we can help you, too.

Types of Surgical Mistakes

In hospitals throughout Utah, surgical mistakes are an all-too-common occurrence. While most surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals involved in surgery provide consistently competent care, a small but significant number commit careless, preventable errors that result in serious injury or death. These errors often occur because a medical professional is distracted, exhausted, or even under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Common surgical errors include:

  • Performing surgery on the incorrect part of the body - For instance, a surgeon may operate on the incorrect organ or amputate the wrong limb.

  • Performing the incorrect surgery - Once a patient is under the effects of anesthesia, he or she cannot answer questions or provide the surgeon with information. A particularly busy or confused surgeon may perform the incorrect surgery altogether; for instance, he or she may remove the appendix of a patient scheduled for heart surgery.

  • Performing surgery on the incorrect patient - A surgeon may accidentally perform a surgery scheduled for one patient on the incorrect patient. This may occur because the surgeon has multiple surgeries scheduled on a given day and confuses one patient for another.

  • Leaving a surgical instrument inside the body - Surgical instruments may accidentally be left in the patient due to a failure to remove an instrument prior to closing an incision with sutures. Towels and sponges are among the most commonly forgotten instruments, though metal and other foreign objects are sometimes left in patients, as well.

  • Anesthesia errors - Failure to screen patients for conditions that might preclude a certain type of anesthesia from being administered, as well as the failure to closely monitor a patients vital signs while under anesthesia, can result in serious injury or death.

  • Other avoidable errors - As stated before, surgeons are not held to a standard of perfection. They are human, and not all accidents can be avoided. However, when an error occurs that would have been caught or prevented by a competent medical professional and injury or death results, the victim of the error - assuming that he or she is harmed in a significant and demonstrable way - may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. Our Utah catastrophic injury attorneys can evaluate your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.

Contact Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC Today

If you or a member of your family has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, please contact our Utah medical malpractice attorneys today for an evaluation of your case.


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Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in complex cases. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, with a special focus on medical malpractice claims. Our firm is associated with the following professional organizations:

  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

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