Under New Jersey law, all surgical errors committed on a patient have the potential to become the subject of a medical malpractice case. This is because, in order to prove a medical malpractice claim based on surgical error, the patient, or the patient’s loved ones, must establish that the surgeon acted in a manner that deviated from the professional standard of care exercised by other surgeons working in the same or similar field. Because the term “surgical error” connotes that a surgeon acted in some way that deviated from the professional standard of care in operating on a patient, any surgical error that is committed may lead to a medical malpractice case if the error results in harm to the patient. Common surgical errors that lead to the filing of medical malpractice cases include the following:
Wrong Site Surgery
As its name suggests, wrong site surgery is a type of surgical error that occurs when the surgeon makes an incision into an incorrect part of the body or otherwise operates on an incorrect part of the body. If this error occurs, patients may claim that they have been harmed because the surgeon performed unnecessary surgical procedures, resulting in unnecessary surgical risk and longer recovery times.
Wrong Patient Surgery
Sometimes, when a surgeon or hospital is overbooked, patient medical charts can get swapped with one another as the patients are getting “prepped” for surgery. If this occurs and the surgeon does not catch this mistake before operating, the surgeon, believing they are operating on the correct patient, may actually perform a surgical procedure on the wrong person. Like wrong site surgical errors, wrong patient surgical errors cause patients to undergo unnecessary surgeries and resultantly have longer recovery times.
Foreign Objects Left in Patients Post-Surgery
Sometimes, even if a surgeon performs the correct surgery on the correct patient, they can still perform surgical errors that have the potential to lead to a medical malpractice case. One such error occurs when surgeons leave foreign objects such as sponges or other surgical instruments used during the procedure inside the body of the patient. This type of error may not be discovered until years after the surgery when the patient experiences complications from having the foreign object inside his or her body and requires additional surgery to remove the object and fix any damage caused by the object.
Organ or Nerve Damage
Even though surgeons may be performing the correct surgical procedure, they can still make surgical errors if they cause damage to the organ they are supposed to be operating on or to surrounding organs and/or nerves. Such errors include accidentally perforating an unintended part of the organ or another organ altogether with surgical instruments or accidentally clipping a nerve. If either of these errors occur, patients may have strong medical malpractice cases against the responsible surgeon or the surgeon’s employer because the resulting damage to the patient will likely be severe.
While this list is not a comprehensive list of all of the types of surgical errors that can lead to the filing of a medical malpractice claim, those who have been the victim of any one of these errors may have a compelling case against the at-fault surgeon.
Contact a Haddonfield Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Surgical Error Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Haddonfield medical malpractice attorneys at The Law Offices of Andres & Berger, P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Haddonfield, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, and Marlton. Contact us today at (856) 795-1444 or email us to schedule a consultation. Our office is located at 264 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.