A recent BMJ (British Medical Journal) study listed medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States. The BMJ recommends that healthcare providers make prevention of patient harm the top healthcare priority and institute policy and procedure changes directed toward that objective.

The study points out that the medical cause of an injury or death on the death certificate doesn’t reflect that “communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment, and inadequate skill can directly result in patient harm and death.”

Continue Reading Preventing Harm to Patients should be Priority #1 for Healthcare Providers

Not every complication which occurs during or as a result of surgery is actionable under the law.  Some complications are foreseeable and a risk of certain procedures. In addition, just because a surgery is unsuccessful does not mean that a surgeon was negligent.  However, many complications are the result of a preventable mistake, and if the patient has a complicated or prolonged recovery and requires subsequent surgeries to correct the mistake, that person may have a viable medical malpractice case.

Here are a few surgical errors that may be considered malpractice and should be investigated by a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice litigation.

  • Surgical Equipment Left Behind:  If a surgeon leaves behind a clip, a clamp, a needle, or even something larger, such as a hemostat or tweezers, that surgeon has been negligent.  If an infection results and/or subsequent surgery must be performed to remove the object, and there are sufficient damages, it may be worth investigating this claim.
  • Wrong Organ Removed:  If, for whatever reason, a surgeon removes the wrong organ or limb from the wrong side of the body, this is clearly negligence which should be investigated.
  • Organ and/or Tissue Damage:  Some tissue damage during surgery may be acceptable or necessary but if a surgeon accidentally cuts or damages an organ, or tissue, or a nerve, and this mistake results in substantial impairment to the patient, the surgery should be investigated

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a complication or mistake, contact Stark & Stark today for a free consultation.