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4 Examples of Surgical Errors That May Constitute Malpractice

September 9th, 2015
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Mistakes during surgery are more common than you might realize. In fact, according to WebMD, more than 4,000 preventable mistakes occur in surgery each year across the United States. These errors result in a payout of more than $1.3 billion for malpractice annually.


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There are countless reasons why a doctor might make a mistake during surgery. If you suffered from a surgical error and you can prove your doctor was negligent, you may be eligible for compensation.

If you find yourself in this position, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. We can help you with all aspects of your Louisiana medical malpractice case.

A New Orleans medical malpractice attorney can look through any possible surgical issues you experienced and determine if you may have valid grounds for a claim. Call us today at (504) 586-5200 to schedule an appointment, and read on to learn about four common surgical errors:

1. Foreign Objects

Surgery is a complicated process. While it may seem bizarre, it is quite common for surgeons to lose track of equipment and surgical objects during procedures. According to, leaving foreign objects in patients after surgery accounts for slightly less than 50 percent of all surgical errors.

Items like clamps, sponges and pads can cause serious complications if a doctor or nurse leaves them in the patient. They can obstruct organs or blood vessels and even cause dangerous infections. Many of these cases require additional surgery and may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

2. Incorrect Site

Slightly less than 25 percent of surgical errors occur because the doctor did not perform the procedure on the correct site. In extreme cases, this may result in the doctor removing or operating on a healthy organ or body part. Some patients may lose an entire leg or arm, and this may well constitute a serious malpractice claim.

3. Incorrect Procedure

One-quarter of all surgical errors happen at the correct physical location but involve the incorrect procedure. This may be due to a doctor’s negligence or inattention during the consultation period. In these cases, the patient may also lose a healthy organ or body part and may still need additional surgery to correct the original issue.

4. Wrong Patient

One of the least common surgical errors is when a doctor operates on the wrong patient. This is usually due to miscommunication between hospital staff and doctors, and it can be a significant setback for innocent patients.

If you believe you have suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor or health-care worker, contact the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. We can look through the circumstances of your case and determine if you may have valid grounds for a claim.

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