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Every surgery – even the most minor – poses the risk of medical error. But does every surgical error constitute as medical malpractice? Malpractice is essentially negligence. To determine if medical malpractice has occurred, Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyers use a legal guideline called “standard of care.” Standard of care is essentially the skill and degree that the average medical care provider would offer given the same scenario as the one in question. How would another surgeon treat a patient in the same situation, given the same information? If the physician in question provided less than the standard of care, they may have committed medical malpractice.
Some of the surgical errors surgeons make include leaving tools inside of patients, giving the patient too much or too little medication, even prescribing the wrong medication altogether before or after surgery. Surgeons have performed incisions in the wrong location and damaged nerves during surgery.
When surgeons and their assistants do not properly wash their hands or sterilize their equipment, they leave patients at risk for life-threating infections. Patients that are under-prescribed anesthesia can wake up during surgery, aware of what is happening but unable to move or speak. Surgeons have actually operated on the wrong body part, or even the wrong person entirely.
Surgical errors are unfortunate and can lead to serious, debilitating consequences for the patient. They occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons for medical malpractice is simply surgeon incompetence.
Fatigue is another cause of medical malpractice. Even the most skilled surgeon loses the ability to think clearly, make good decisions, and focus when they are sleep-deprived. Surgeons working long hours are at special risk for fatigue.
Neglect and carelessness also lead to surgical errors. Surgeons that take short cuts, or skip important procedures during surgery, are providing less than the standard of care. Surgeons who expose the patient to unnecessary risk during surgery may also be liable of medical malpractice.
Most patients about to undergo any surgical procedure sign an “informed consent” form, acknowledging that they understand the risks associated with surgery. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional makes an error that goes beyond the known surgical risks. Injuries caused by surgical errors can be debilitating – even fatal. If you suspect your injuries are the result of medical malpractice in South Jersey, Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyers can help.
Call our Cherry Hill, New Jersey, office at 856-354-9444 for a free phone evaluation of your case. You can also contact us online. With offices in Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, associates at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.