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Alpharetta, Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney - Surgical Errors

In October of 2010, the New York Times published an article entitled “Surgical Errors Continue Despite Protocols.” In the frightening article, the Times reported on a study revealing that a surgical error occurs in one out of every 110,000 procedures. While this number may not seem high, the lead author of the study indicated that serious surgical errors may occur even more often than reported and that the number of surgical errors is on the rise.

Unfortunately, as Alpharetta medical malpractice attorneys know, even one single surgical error is too many given the devastating consequences that a mistake can have. Surgical errors are preventable with proper procedures and when doctors and healthcare providers exhibit an appropriate level of care and, when doctors fail to do so, a surgical error can result in serious injury or even death.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a surgical error, you may have legal recourse available to you. Alpharetta medical malpractice attorneys can help you to take action and recover compensation for losses. You may be entitled to payment of all medical bills resulting from the surgical error, as well as to lost wages and damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress. If the surgical error led to death, as so many errors do, family members of the deceased can also consult with an Alpharetta surgical error attorney on bringing a wrongful death case.

The Dangers of Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can occur any time a doctor or healthcare provider makes a careless mistake. These errors may include:

  • Operating on the wrong body part. According to the New York Times article, reported instances of surgical errors included a doctor inserting a chest tube into the wrong lung and killing the patient; a surgeon removing a healthy ovary; a doctor operating on the wrong side of the brain; a doctor fusing the wrong vertebrae; and doctors performing procedures on the wrong eye, foot, knee, hand and elbow.  In total, in a study of more than 6,000 physicians between 2002 and mid-2008, there were 107 cases in which the wrong body part was operated on.
  • Operating on the wrong patient. The Times article reported that among 27,730 self-reported malpractice incidents by 6,000 doctors, 25 operations were performed on the wrong patient. Three of these operations were prostatectomies.
  • Leaving instruments inside patients. There have been documented cases of everything from gauze to sponges to surgical tools being left inside patients.
These and other surgical errors can have devastating consequences. Once a surgical error has been made, the patient may never be able to recover fully and, in some cases, death is a result of the mistakes that were made.

Alpharetta Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help When Surgical Errors Occur

Surgical errors may happen for many reasons, from patients having similar names to doctors holding x-rays the wrong way. Regardless of why they happen, you can hold hospitals or healthcare providers responsible if they were considered negligent in the eyes of the law. For doctors, negligence is defined as performing medical care that is below the standard of care a reasonable doctor with the same background would provide. A heart surgeon, for example, is expected to exhibit the same skill in performing surgery as a reasonable heart surgeon with similar training.   For healthcare providers such as hospitals, negligence is determined based on whether the hospital policies are reasonably prudent.

Proving medical malpractice and collecting damages after an error can be more difficult in some situations than others.   In the case of surgical errors, however, it is usually relatively straightforward to demonstrate that it was unreasonably negligent for a doctor to leave a surgical tool inside of you or for a doctor to operate on the wrong patient. Consulting with an Alpharetta medical malpractice attorney is still advisable in these cases and, in fact, may be even more important because doctors and hospitals may try to rush you into a quick and unfair settlement because they know how extensive their potential obligation is to compensate you for the harm they’ve caused.

Getting Help from Alpharetta Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Alpharetta medical malpractice attorneys can assist you with all aspects of a medical malpractice case arising from a surgical error. From proving your case to negotiating a settlement to going to court to try to maximize damages, Alpharetta medical malpractice attorneys will vigorously represent your interests.

At Sammons & Carpenter, our Alpharetta medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience representing clients who have been harmed as a result of a surgical error. Let us put our legal expertise to work for you. Give us a call today at (404) 991-5950 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you.

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