Surgical errors can lead to malpractice claims

| Jul 20, 2020 | Medication Errors

When you have a surgical procedure done by a New Mexico doctor, you expect that it will be conducted in a professional manner. While it is impossible to guarantee that a mistake won’t happen, steps should be taken to minimize the chances that they occur. If they are not, you may be the victim of medical malpractice.

Malpractice claims related to surgery are relatively common

A medical liability insurance company did a study analyzing the causes of medical malpractice claims that were closed between 2014 and 2018. It found that a quarter of those claims were related to mistakes made during surgery. Of the 2,579 claims made, 78% had to do with a surgeon’s poor performance during a procedure.

The various errors that led to malpractice claims

Of the claims analyzed as part of the study that were related to surgical errors, 39% of them alleged that the surgeon lacked technical skill. Another 27% of such claims alleged that there was a failure in communication or that the surgeon made an error in judgment. Malpractice claims also stemmed from errors such as leaving an object in a patient or performing a procedure on the wrong body part or person.

Steps that can be taken to minimize errors

Prior to a procedure, care providers should make sure that patients have the ability to give informed consent. Furthermore, evidence of informed consent should be included in a patient’s medical record. During the procedure itself, an effort should be made to remove as many distractions from an operating room as possible. Those distractions could include cellphones that may ring, loud music or other individuals who may enter the room to observe the procedure.

If you are injured because of a surgical error, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other related expenses. This may be true if you can prove that the error was caused by a surgeon’s careless behavior. An attorney may represent you during a trial or settlement talks.

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