Surgery errors may occur during the surgery as well as during post-operation care. Negligent surgeons may damage internal organs, operate on the wrong body part or fail to remove all medical instruments from the body. Negligent post-op care may result in infections and other complications.
Damage to internal organs may occur any time an intrusive surgery is performed. This can be actionable as malpractice in 2 ways. The first is if damage to the organs could have been easily avoided and failure to avoid the damage lies outside the standard of surgical care. The second is if the damage to the internal organs was unavoidable and the actual damage done was within the standard of care, but the physician failed to properly warn the patient of all risks associated with the surgery. A failure to warn leads to a lack of informed consent to surgery by the patient and can lead to a claim for a harmful, unwanted touching- battery.
While wrong-site surgery is a small percentage of medical malpractice cases, there are 1,300 to 2,700 such mistakes annually in the United States. When Surgeons Cut the Wrong Body Part. Often, wrong-site surgery is due to an error in communication.
A failure to remove a surgical instrument from the body is per se evidence of malpractice. Per se negligence relieves the burden of proving causation since there is no way a surgical tool is left in a human body without a medical professional acting negligently.
It is easy to see from the examples of surgical malpractice above how important the actual facts of each circumstance are. It is very important to contact an attorney immediately so that they can assist you in identifying your type of case and explain its intricacies.