Overview of Preventable Infections and Surgical Errors


October 17, 2016

Atlanta Medical Malpractice and Negligence Attorneys Provide Overview of Preventable Infections and Surgical Errors

Many people throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas of Georgia place their faith in surgical teams and hospitals on a daily basis. Surgical patients presume that their surgeon and the rest of their medical team will exercise a high level of skill and expertise. Most surgeons rise to the standard of care expected in their profession. However, surgical mistakes and preventable infections are much more common than most surgical patients realize. Despite efforts to reduce the number of surgical errors in recent years, surgical mistakes and infections in and out of the operating room remain a serious problem. According to the Archives of Surgery, five to ten surgical errors occur in the U.S. each and every day.

When a patient is the victim of a surgical error or surgical infection, the substandard can have a devastating impact on the victim's quality of your life. Serious medical errors can result in permanent debilitating injuries or even tragic death. If the surgeon or another member of the surgical team causes your injury because of medical negligence, you may have a right to seek compensation for your injuries.

Because there are usually multiple members of the surgical team, there are many types of negligent conduct that can constitute the basis for a medical malpractice claim during a surgical procedure. Some of the most common types of surgical mistakes or preventable surgical infections include the following:

  • Anesthesia Mistakes: Most surgical procedures require some form of anesthesia. When general anesthesia is used, the process of administering the drugs can be the most dangerous aspect of a surgical procedure. An anesthesiologist is charged with carefully monitoring a patient to ensure that the patient is not given too much or insufficient anesthesia.
  • Wrong Site/Patient Surgery: This mistake occurs when surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body or the wrong patient. This type of error is not nearly as rare as many might presume despite the fact these types of errors should never occur.
  • Improper Delegation: When a surgeon assigns or delegates a portion of the surgery to another member of the medical team, the surgeon remains responsible for any surgical errors or mistakes.
  • Unnecessary Surgical Procedures: These involve billing for and performing surgeries for which there is no legitimate medical basis. An example might include a surgical removal of the colon without a diagnosis justifying such a procedure.
  • Lack of Prompt Recognition of Errors: Although any surgical mistake poses potential dangers to the patient, sometimes promptly addressing the mistake can prevent or mitigate any serious damage. When the surgeon fails to promptly identify and correct a mistake, this failure can result in even more serious injuries.
  • Substandard Medical Technique: This may involve inadvertently severing an artery or leaving behind a sponge when closing up a surgical incision.
  • Surgical Infection: When a sponge or other items are left in the body following a surgical procedure or a surgical incision site is not treated properly, it can result in potentially fatal infection.
  • Failure to Perform Surgery: Surgery often is essential to treat a particular medical condition, but attending nurses fail to let the surgeon know about critical changes in a patient's condition, so the surgery goes unperformed. Alternatively, the surgeon is unavailable when summoned to perform the surgery.

When you need a surgical procedure, you entrust your health to the professional skill and expertise of your surgeon and surgical team. Sometimes surgical mistakes are the product of a failure of the members of the surgical team to communicate effectively in the operating room. The surgeon sets the tone for communication in an operating room and is responsible for promoting open communication intended to reduce the likelihood of surgical mistakes. When a surgical team makes a critical mistake, such as amputating the wrong limb or subjecting a patient to an unnecessary surgery, it can mean excruciating unnecessary pain, revisionary surgery, disability from employment, and impairment of a patient's enjoyment of life, along with other adverse consequences.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 32 Years of Experience to Work For You!

Our experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys strive to obtain the fullest compensation under the law for personal injury and wrongful death victims. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-two years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
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Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.