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What if my doctor makes a mistake during surgery?

You may have been putting off getting a knee replacement for a couple years. However, your pain is becoming unbearable. You can hardly get up a small flight of stairs anymore. Yet, you are concerned. You worry about the risks that come with surgery. What happens if your doctor makes a mistake during the surgery?

When surgical errors become medical malpractice

About 4,000 surgical errors happen each year in the United States. For a surgical mistake to be considered medical malpractice, it must be the result of:

·       A surgeon failing to follow the appropriate standard of care.

·       The error causing you harm.

According to a 2020 report from Coverys, a medical liability insurer, surgery is the second most common cause for medical malpractice claims against doctors.

Common surgical errors

Some of the most common surgical errors include:

·       Making anesthesia errors, such as using too much anesthesia on a patient or failing to account for a patient’s allergies

·       Performing an unnecessary or inappropriate surgery

·       Operating on the wrong-side body part (for example, operating on your left knee instead of your right knee)

·       Cutting an organ or another part of the body by mistake

·       Leaving a surgical instrument or sponge inside the body

·       Making errors in a surgery that lead to causing an infection

·       Making pre- or post-operative mistakes, such as not treating surgical complications properly

What to do if you experience a surgical error

If you experience a surgical error, you need to consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can evaluate if you have cause for a medical malpractice claim and help you pursue damages from your doctor if warranted.

You shouldn’t be afraid to hold your surgeon accountable. You should get compensation for any medical costs you have incurred as the result of a surgical error so you can focus more on your recovery than how to pay all your medical bills.

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