We trust surgeons to provide effective and safe treatment. Unfortunately, surgeons can and do make mistakes. Patients can face the consequences as a result of such errors.

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Have you been harmed due to a surgical error in Massachusetts or elsewhere in New England? You may be eligible for compensation if so. Filing a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit can allow you to pursue compensation for losses resulting from a surgical mistake.

For example, perhaps you needed additional medical treatment due to a surgical error. You may seek compensation for the cost of such treatment. You might also pursue compensation for intangible non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Surgical errors come in many forms. Common examples include the following:

Leaving a Foreign Item in a Patient’s Body

Surgeons and those assisting them may use a variety of tools and materials throughout a procedure. Sometimes, they forget to gather all these tools and materials properly after a surgery is complete. In some instances, they may even accidentally leave foreign items in patient’s bodies.

Performing the Wrong Procedure

Miscommunication is often the culprit for surgical errors. For instance, perhaps a surgeon performs the wrong procedure on a patient. This might occur because a miscommunication resulted in a surgeon believing they were performing the correct procedure.

Wrong-Site Procedure

Surgeons sometimes perform correct procedures, but do so on the wrong parts of patients’ bodies. Extreme (but not unheard of) versions of this might involve amputating the wrong limb or performing surgery on the right lung when a patient required surgery on their left lung.

Surgeons sometimes perform correct procedures, but do so on the wrong parts of patients’ bodies.

Wrong Patient Errors

There are instances in which surgeons may perform surgery on the wrong patients. Doing so can harm multiple parties.

If a surgeon performs an unnecessary procedure, they may put you at risk. You may also have to cope with recovering from a procedure you didn’t need. Depending on the nature of the procedure, everything from your comfort to your ability to work may be affected.

However, maybe you’re a patient who actually needs to undergo a procedure. If your surgeon performs the procedure on the wrong patient, you won’t receive the necessary treatment in a timely manner. This can have significant consequences on your health outcomes.

Anesthesia and Medication Errors

Administering anesthesia and other types of medications is often necessary during a surgical procedure. Errors can occur when surgeons, anesthesiologists, or other such parties administer too much anesthesia, administer too little, administer an unnecessary medication, or fail to administer a medication a patient did need.

Improper Disinfection

A patient is quite vulnerable to infection when undergoing a surgical procedure. Surgeons and their teams must guard against this by following strict disinfection procedures and protocols. A patient can become ill if they fail to do so.

Equipment Failure

Surgical errors aren’t always the result of mistakes on the part of a surgeon or anyone else at a medical facility. For example, a surgical error may occur because a piece of equipment fails. This could happen if the equipment’s designers or manufacturers overlooked a defect.

Failure to Monitor

Some types of errors that may harm a surgical patient aren’t technically surgical errors. That’s because they occur after surgery.

For example, it’s often necessary to vigilantly monitor a patient’s condition after a procedure. A patient may experience complications if those responsible for keeping an eye on them are careless.

Seeking Compensation for Surgical Errors in New England

Don’t delay if you believe you have grounds to take legal action due to a surgical error. Deadlines may apply to your case. For example, in Massachusetts, you typically have three years from the date of an error (or the date you reasonably became aware of said error) to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You won’t be able to seek compensation if you miss the deadline.

Just keep in mind that building a strong medical malpractice case can be a complex process. Gathering evidence to show a medical professional failed to adhere to a reasonable standard of care may require conducting a thorough investigation.

Gathering evidence to strengthen your case isn’t a task you need to handle on your own. Review your case with a Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., for more information. We’ll explain your potential legal options in this scenario. We’ll also provide aggressive representation, helping you pursue the compensation you may deserve if you choose to hire us. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 for a free case review.

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If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: Elizabeth M Guthrie
Elizabeth M. Guthrie is an associate attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Elizabeth represents victims of personal injury and medical malpractice.

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