Medical malpractice takes many forms, but in essence, it’s when patients are damaged by the actions of medical providers - doctors, nurses, hospital staff, even surgeons.
Surgical malpractice in particular can lead to devastating injuries, which result in permanent disabilities and death every year. When a surgeon acts recklessly during an operation, it is the patient who suffers the consequences.
While most surgeons are masters of their craft, a small number of them cause irrevocable harm simply out of carelessness and disregard - negligence. Injuries sustained while under the knife of a negligent surgeon can wreck havoc on your well-being and have a lasting impact on your family.
Like the broader term “medical malpractice,” surgical malpractice involves a healthcare worker providing improper or dangerous treatment to a patient. In these cases, the errors occur during surgery or somehow affect a patient’s surgery, leading to health complications and injuries.
The “quick list” of common surgical malpractice includes:
- Unnecessary surgery,
- Use of unsanitary instruments,
- Premature discharge of patient after surgery,
- Unnecessary delays in surgery,
- Performing surgery without a plan or regard to patient history,
- Failing to perform checkups after surgery, or
- Damage done to body parts unrelated to surgery.
And some pretty bad errors:
- Retained Foreign Part: Sponge, gauze, tubes, clamps, retractors; these are just some of the objects left behind when surgeons rush through a procedure or fail to pay attention. The results can be devastating, from infectious disease to organ failure.
- Unplanned Removal of Organ: No matter what type of procedure you were scheduled for, the unplanned removal of organ tissues is unacceptable. In some cases this is due to a surgeon going above and beyond, attempting to repair unforeseen damages or preventing future issues with internal organs by taking drastic measures. Or it could simply result from recklessness. Whatever the case, it can most certainly be grounds for legal action.
- Wrong Patient, Side, or Surgery: We can all agree that hospitals are busy places and protocols exist to keep everyone on the same page, both surgeon and patient alike. But when something horrific and entirely preventable occurs - say, proceeding into surgery with the wrong information or patient—there is more than enough justification for a malpractice lawsuit. The results in such a mix-up can be much more than damaging: they can be lethal.
Just How Common Are These Surgical “Errors”?
A 2012 study by John Hopkins patient safety researchers revealed some staggering numbers: in the United States, a foreign object was left behind in a patient following surgery 39 times every week! Even worse, surgeons performed the wrong surgery, or operated on the wrong part of the body, 20 times a week.
The report estimated 80,000 so-called "never" events occurred from 1990–2010, with 32.9% of them resulting in permanent or disfiguring injury and 6.6% in death. Over the twenty years that data was examined for, hospitals and their insurance companies shelled out well over 1.3 billion dollars as a result of surgical negligence.
Plastic surgery no longer carries with it the stigma that it did in the past. Millions of plastic and cosmetic surgeries are performed each year in the United States. Rather than denying or talking secretively about their plastic surgery, people are now recommending plastic surgeons to their friends and family. Any day of the week you might see a reality show, documentary, or news program showing the transformations of people who were once average-looking to “beautiful.”
If you are considering having plastic surgery you should fully research the type of surgery, possible complications, and your surgeon's qualifications. Only surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery should be performing cosmetic and plastic surgery. All cosmetic surgery procedures have the capability of complications, and it is the duty of your surgeon to diagnose and appropriately treat any complication.
What Are the Side Effects of Cosmetic Surgery?
Although cosmetic surgery procedures are quite common now, there is still a lot of risk involved. Not everyone who has plastic surgery is satisfied with the outcome. Inexperience, negligence, substance abuse, and lack of proper training and education may all play a part in surgical errors. These are some of the serious side effects patients may suffer if they are victims of botched plastic surgery:
- Blood clots
- Brain damage
- Excessive bleeding
- Skin death
After you have suffered injuries or infections from surgical malpractice, a doctor, hospital, and insurance providers may tell you that you are not legally allowed to file a lawsuit against them because you signed consent forms and other paperwork concerning your medical procedure.
That is simply not true.
Surgeons and healthcare workers are required to provide proper care when treating patients. The negligence and recklessness that causes surgical malpractice is a violation of this standard of care, which means that you have the right to file a case against the surgeon, hospital, and whoever else caused your harm.
What Evidence Do I Need?
You will need to collect evidence proving:
- What type of malpractice you suffered;
- How medical caregivers caused the incident; and
- What injuries resulted from the incident.
An experienced surgical malpractice attorney can help you find the right evidence and create a compelling case. By doing so, you can receive compensation that pays for your losses; including past medical bills, lost wages due to being unable to work, pain and suffering, future medical care and rehabilitation, and any other costs that resulted from the botched surgery.
Surgeons who provide poor care for patients need to be held accountable for their actions.
We at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, are dedicated to helping victims protect themselves, their rights, and their path to recovery. Through our help, you can understand what caused your losses and who to hold responsible. Our top New York personal injury attorneys will dedicate their decades of experience and success to your case to ensure that you receive fair and full compensation for both past and future losses.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to surgical malpractice - surgical negligence, botched plastic surgery, or just plain incompetence - call (212) 986-7353 for a free consultation. Our New York malpractice attorneys will aggressively pursue the at-fault parties, their insurance companies, and their defense teams until you receive the remuneration you deserve.
- Another Never Event in New York
- Common Injuries Due to Anesthesia Accidents
- Common Types of New York Medical Malpractice
- Proving a Medical Malpractice Case in New York
- Surgery - Merck Manual
NY Surgical Malpractice Verdicts & Settlements
$6.6 Million - Spinal Surgery
$6.2 Million - Surgeon Fails to Follow Proper Medical Practice
$1.45 Million - Wrongful Death: Surgical Complication
$700,000 - Surgeon Negligence
$450,000 - Wrongful Death: Medical Malpractice
$400,000 - Surgery on Wrong Thoracic Disc Level