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Surgical Medical Errors

Medical negligence in the operating room is often associated with complex surgeries, such as heart, spine or brain surgery. However, surgical errors and medical negligence can occur during even the most common surgeries, including colon, vascular, gynecological, laser vision correction or sinus surgeries. Although not common, there are specific examples of documented surgical errors. Attorneys who have experience handling cases medical errors in surgery know that surgeon mistakes may result in unfortunate consequences.

The delicate tissues of the colon, large intestine, or bowel, are often encountered when a surgeon attempts routine removal of a polyp or mass. Proper measures must be taken to prevent perforation of the bowel during colonoscopy or surgical removal of a mass or polyp. If surgical errors such as perforation occur, bacteria from inside the bowel can leak into the abdominal cavity and cause widespread and life threatening infection. Peritonitis and sepsis resulting from a perforated bowel can cause compromise of the patient’s organs, including the liver, kidneys and lungs and may result in death if not quickly and properly diagnosed and treated. Attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP surgical error attorneys have experience in cases in which surgical medical errors have occurred.

Gynecological surgeries, such as tubal ligation or hysterectomy, if improperly performed can cause excessive bleeding or perforation of vital organs such as the colon or bladder. Measures should be taken to reduce the risk of surgical errors such as blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) is essential to maintain adequate blood flow in the legs during and after surgery. In addition, patients undergoing gynecological surgeries must be monitored closely after the surgery for signs of deep vein thrombosis, which can travel to the lung and cause pulmonary embolism and death.

Sinus surgery is another common procedure, often performed to relieve chronic sinus pressure, or to remove polyps. However, delicate muscles that control the movements of the eyes are located just beyond the sinuses, and in one case a negligent surgeon perforated the protective area around the eye and severed a muscle that controls the eye’s movement. As a result, the patient has continuous double vision, is unable to read, drive or work due to these medical errors. Surgical error attorneys at LK have helped clients win settlements for these types of injuries.

Anesthesia errors can occur during any type of surgery and often have devastating effects, including oxygen deprivation, coma or even death. These types of medical errors in surgery are more common that one might expect. Careful monitoring of the patient during anesthesia is critical, and often includes monitoring of the patient’s oxygen levels and nerve function to ensure that delicate spinal nerves are not being compromised during surgery. Medical errors such as failure to perform these observations can result in permanent brain damage, nerve damage, paralysis or even paraplegia.

Nearly all surgeries involve the use of surgical instruments such as scalpels, clamps and pads. These items must be carefully counted before, and after, every procedure. The failure to properly perform this instrument count can result in an item being left behind inside the patient’s body after the surgery is completed. Surgical error attorneys know all to well that often the patient has no idea that this has occurred until it is too late: internal injuries, perforation of internal organs and bleeding may occur postoperatively that can necessitate multiple corrective surgeries, extensive scaring and compromise of the patient’s overall strength and respiratory function due to trauma and multiple courses of anesthesia.

Even bedside procedures can cause significant injuries. For example, a catheter that was supposed to be placed in the jugular vein was misplaced in the patient’s carotid artery by a resident, resulted in the patient’s death. This type of surgical error – improper placement of a feeding tube in a patient’s trachea or windpipe – can cause permanent brain damage or death within minutes.

If you or someone you know sustained an injury during or after a surgical procedure, Levy Konigsberg LLP has skilled medical malpractice and surgery error attorneys who can find out what happened and obtain the maximum possible compensation for medical errors in surgery and resulting injury.

ATTENTION: If you believe that you or your loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you should seek legal advice of experienced medical malpractice attorneys to determine if you have a case. For a free consultation with the medical malpractice lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP please call our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

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