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When do surgical errors count as medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2022 | Surgical Error

Any time you undergo surgery, you are taking a significant risk. Everyone working in your California operating room is human and simple errors may occur. While not all errors in the operating room constitute medical malpractice. However, surgical errors are the third most common type of medical malpractice.

Patients must prove malpractice occurred

Medical malpractice occurs when your medical provider causes an injury. In order to fit the definition of medical malpractice, the injury must fit each of these criteria:

• The medical provider violated the standard of care patients should expect.

• Your injury resulted from the medical provider’s negligence.

• The injury must cause significant damage to you through disability, inability to work, pain and suffering or significant medical bills.

Certain surgical errors are frequent malpractice cases

In the U.S., surgeons operate on the wrong part of a patient’s body approximately 40 times per week. Wrong-site surgery results in medical malpractice suits often, as do the following surgical errors:

• Failing to recognize dangerous surgical conditions

• Injuring healthy parts of your body during surgery

• Failing to properly administer anesthesia

• Ignoring complications during surgery

• Leaving surgical instruments inside the body

Poor plastic surgery results may count as medical malpractice

A growing number of patients seek out plastic surgeons to provide an upgrade on their looks. Unfortunately, the field includes many unqualified surgeons taking advantage of the large paycheck. This results in poor or even deadly results from plastic surgery. These surgical errors during plastic surgery may constitute medical malpractice:

• Excessive scars

• Blood clots

• Infections

• Nerve damage

• Disfigurement

Medical malpractice claims have a statute of limitations

In California, patients may only pursue legal action in a medical malpractice case for up to three years after the incident occurred. Malpractice cases also require significant levels of proof. If you are considering a malpractice case, gathering as much evidence as you can as soon as possible may increase your chances of success.