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When is a surgical error medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2023 | Surgical Errors

There is no such thing as minor surgery. The matter is serious whether you have your appendix removed or open-heart surgery. When you wake up from your procedure, you do not want to hear that your surgeon made a mistake.

At first, you will probably assume that it is medical malpractice. However, a surgical error is not always malpractice. Here is more information to help you identify when your surgical errors are malpractice.

What is medical malpractice?

Surgical errors occurring are not enough for a medical malpractice case. Your treatment must adhere to standard methods of care, and only poor treatment resulting in harm is malpractice. That means that if your treatment was not below standard care measures or you were not injured, you do not have a malpractice case.

What are surgical errors?

Surgical errors are preventable mistakes occurring during surgical procedures. All surgeries come with an inherent risk. That is often why you must sign consent paperwork acknowledging the chances of injury. This is the informed consent paperwork. However, surgical errors go beyond these listed risks. You do not expect them to occur.

Why do they occur?

No surgery will be the same as another. Therefore, no surgical error will be the same as another. However, these are the most common reasons mistakes occur:

  • Incompetence
  • Insufficient preop planning
  • Improper work process
  • Poor communication
  • Fatigue
  • Impairment

Occasionally, surgeons may also make mistakes due to neglect. However, reading Preventative Adverse Effects reports can give you a better idea of why specific issues happen.

It would be best to start documenting the issue when you suspect your surgical errors are medical malpractice cases. These cases are complex, and early action is the key to getting the reimbursement you deserve.

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