Cooper Schall & Levy discuss what constitutes as surgical malpractice.

Surgical Malpractice

A Johns Hopkins malpractice study concluded that between the years of 1990 and 2010, approximately 10,000 preventable surgical errors occurred in the U.S. While there are risks to every surgery, some are preventable. These preventable surgical errors often lead to serious and lasting health problems. If the damage that was caused by a surgical error, from either negligent care on the part of your treating medical providers or even systemic negligence on the part of the facility where you were treated, you may have the ability to bring a medical malpractice claim to recoup your losses.

What Constitutes Surgical Malpractice?

Under Pennsylvania law, surgical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional acts negligently by violating the generally accepted standard of care used by other healthcare professionals in the same field when the surgery was performed. The negligence must be the cause of the patient’s injuries. The negligent act or inaction may be the result of a multitude of factors. Some of the most common factors that contribute to the occurrence of surgical errors include:

  • Technical incompetence or inexperience of the surgeon
  • Lack of communication between the surgeon and other medical professionals or the patient
  • Surgeon fatigue
  • Distraction of the surgeon or other medical professionals
  • Performance of unnecessary surgery

Some examples of surgical errors are:

  • Leaving surgical instruments in the body after surgery (may include things like retractors or sponges)
  • Nicked or punctured internal organs
  • Infection and Sepsis caused by use of unsanitary surgical instruments
  • Nerve damage
  • Medication errors
  • Operation of the wrong surgical site
  • Performing the wrong surgical procedure
  • Performing the surgery on the wrong patient
  • Anesthesia administration errors

It is scary to think about what kind of consequences these errors may have on a patient. Some may even prove fatal. Others may still have indefinite health consequences for the victim. If the injury or health problems suffered by the patient were the result of negligence on behalf of those involved in the surgery such as the surgeon, other healthcare professionals, or the medical institution, you have a right to seek monetary compensation through pursuing a claim for surgical malpractice. If successful in bringing your claim, you will have the right to be compensated for things like:

  • Medical expenses
  • Cost of future medical care
  • Physical therapy
  • Necessary alterations to your lifestyle and home to accommodate any new limitations
  • Past wages
  • Future wages and loss of earning capacity
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Cooper Schall and Levy has recovered millions of dollars in the form of settlements and verdicts to compensate victims of surgical malpractice. 

Pennsylvania Surgical Malpractice Attorneys

Undergoing surgery is a scary endeavor. While often necessary, putting your health and wellbeing in the hands of others in such a major way causes anxiety for many. If your treating medical professionals have violated their duty to you to provide a certain standard of care, and that violation led to you needlessly suffering, you may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for that which you have lost. At Cooper Schall & Levy, our dedicated medical malpractice attorneys are here to fight for you. Contact us today.