According to the Pennsylvania Medical Society, there were 107 medical liability cases tried to a jury in Pennsylvania in 2017. This number may seem to indicate that medical malpractice rates are relatively low in Pennsylvania, however, these numbers do not include cases that were settled prior to trial or before a lawsuit was even filed. Philadelphia surgical errors attorneys know that negligent medical care during surgeries and other types of medical treatments can lead to serious and unexpected complications and unfortunately, medical malpractice often goes unreported.
Common surgical errors
Negligent medical care during surgical procedures may lead to the following types of surgical errors:
Infection – Patients sometimes develop infections caused by unsanitary conditions, unsanitary instruments or surgical implants, or negligent follow up care. In some circumstances, infections can lead to Sepsis, which can be a debilitating and sometimes deadly bodily response to an infection often leading to chronic pain, organ failure, and amputation.
Incorrect patient – It is almost unbelievable, but it still happens that patient procedures can somehow be mixed up and a procedure meant for one patient is incorrectly performed on another patient. For example, in 2016 a healthy appendix was removed from a Pennsylvania emergency room patient after her x-rays were mixed up with another patient’s x-rays.
Incorrect procedure – Incorrect procedures often make headlines because the consequences can be so serious and the mistake is so unfathomable. When someone goes in for a back surgery and the surgeon removes a healthy kidney, patients and their family members are left wondering how such a mistake could have happened and how this mistake is going to affect their health and long term physical well-being.
Incorrect body part – Operating on the incorrect body part generally happens when the right and left side are mixed up. Reports of removing a healthy ovary or amputating a healthy leg while leaving the diseased body part intact are unfortunately common. Even with the practice of clearly marking body parts so that there are no mix ups, these mistakes still happen. These errors are unfortunate because often someone expecting to lose one ovary or one leg ends up being more seriously impacted by losing both body parts.
Leaving foreign object behind – The practice of counting sponges and towels that are put into a patient’s body during surgery is meant to protect them from complications related to leaving a foreign object in the body after surgery, but these errors still frequently happen.
Anesthesia errors – Anesthesia errors can include administering too much or too little anesthesia, failure to appropriately monitor patients and recognize anesthesia complications, and fluid regulation mistakes. Anesthesia errors can lead to severe consequences including oxygen deprivation and even death.
If you believe that you may have been a victim of a surgical error or other types of medical negligence, contact a Philadelphia surgical errors attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys are patient advocates who want to see that patients who have suffered injuries due to medical malpractice are fairly compensated.