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Surgical mistakes and other reasons for malpractice claims

| May 29, 2020 | Firm News, Medical Malpractice

When you go to the doctor or head to a Kentucky hospital for some type of medical treatment, you assume that you will receive quality care and support from a knowledgeable professional. Sometimes, however, the care patients receive falls below a certain standard, and innocent people can suffer additional types of medical complications as a result. In some cases, this is grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Malpractice incidents can be confusing for the patient who may be unsure of what happened and how the doctor or care provider may have played a role in resulting mistakes. This is particularly true for patients who underwent a type of surgical procedure and woke up to an unexpected outcome. Surgical mistakes are the second most common cause of medical malpractice claims.

Why is surgery risky?

Many types of surgical procedures are straightforward and relatively low-risk, but any medical procedure or intervention comes with at least a small risk of complications. When a doctor, surgeon or other type of care provider involved with the procedure makes a mistake or overlooks something, the mistakes can be catastrophic. A study of all malpractice claims from 2014 to 2018 found that surgery was the reason for one-quarter of all incidents. Consider the following:

  • Of all of the surgery-related claims, around 78% was because of something that happened during the actual procedure.
  • Surgery-related malpractice claims can also happen as a result of a misdiagnosis, poor post-operative care and decisions made by the surgeon.
  • The most common types of surgeries to result in malpractice claims include general, orthopedic and neurosurgery.
  • In the total number of claims studied, results indicate that around 29% of them resulted in injuries that were permanent and significant.

In surgery, many things can go wrong, and even a tiny oversight or moment of negligence can result in catastrophic damage or death. The only medical issues more common than surgery errors in malpractice claims are those related to diagnostic errors.

The rights of a patient

A patient has rights, including the right to pursue legal action when a medical procedure goes wrong. An assessment of the individual ordeal can determine if there are grounds to pursue a malpractice claim. This is a beneficial first step for you if you believe that your pain and suffering is a direct result of negligent care or mistakes made by a medical professional.


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