How Often Do Surgical Errors Occur?

The education and training required to become a surgeon are intense – four years of college, four years of medical school, and three to eight years of surgical residency. All of this training is supposed to teach surgeons how to avoid major surgical errors. Yet thousands of patients are injured because of careless surgical errors. In fact, it is estimated that surgeons leave foreign objects (i.e. sponges, tools, towels) inside patients about 40 times per week, resulting in excruciating pain, dangerous infections, and other medical complications.

Some of the more common causes of surgical errors are:

  • Inadequate or poor communication between medical staff resulting in the incorrect body part operated on or other preventable surgical errors.
  • Failure of medical staff to perform a complete and thorough preoperative plan on the patient. This should include all information regarding the patient’s medical history.
  • A member of the surgical team under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • A member of the surgical team suffering from extreme fatigue because of lack of sleep. Surgeons, nurses, and other medical staff are often required to work long shifts without regular breaks.
  • Inadequate training or incompetence on the part of a member of the surgical team.

Medical Liability

Virginia injury law allows victims to pursue financial compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the actions of medical staff. These claims can be pursued through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Victims can be compensated for their additional medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. If the victim dies as a result of the medical negligence, their family can pursue for their wrongful death.

Surgeons can be held responsible for failing to ensure everyone on their surgical team had the training and experience to meet the expected standard of care. The medical facility where a surgical error occurred may also be held responsible for failing to ensure the surgeon met his or her duty to practice safely or for failing to provide the surgeon with the training, staff, and tools needed to protect the patient.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are often much more complex than other types of personal injury cases. First of all, physicians have malpractice insurance and therefore will have a team of attorneys fighting against the victim’s claim. This is why victims should always consult with a skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney to ensure someone is advocating for them.

Call Our Office Today

The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has successfully represented many clients and their families who suffered serious injury or illness because of the negligence or carelessness of a doctor or other medical staff.

Our Virginia medical malpractice attorneys understand the overwhelming stress these types of mistakes can have on families and work diligently to obtain financial compensation because of the harm victims suffered when medical staff failed to provide the necessary medical treatment. Call our office today for your free case evaluation and discuss what legal recourse you may have.