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When is a surgical mistake avoidable?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Surgical Errors

No matter how much trust patients put in their doctors and other medical providers during surgery, there will always be a possibility of operation errors, especially when several factors and circumstances are at play. Even the most skilled and experienced surgeons can make mistakes.

When this happens, victims or their families can explore their remedies, including filing a medical malpractice claim. However, not all surgical errors count as medical malpractice. For a surgical error to be medical malpractice, certain elements must be present.

When establishing a medical malpractice claim, one key factor to prove is that the mistake was avoidable.

When it is still within the control of the medical team

One can consider a surgical mistake avoidable when it occurs due to preventable factors, such as a surgeon’s negligence, a breakdown in communication among the operation team, inadequate preoperative planning or failure to follow established safety protocols.

For example, operating on the wrong body part or leaving surgical instruments inside a patient are usually considered avoidable mistakes.

When it is beyond the medical professionals’ control

To better understand what surgical errors are preventable, it is also beneficial to understand which ones are not. Surgeries inherently carry risks. Unpredictable factors, such as patient reactions to surgery or unforeseen complications, can lead to adverse outcomes that are not necessarily due to errors by the surgical team.

Where your case stands

Establishing a medical malpractice claim, including surgical errors, can be complex. Whether you can pursue a case against your medical provider will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your situation. Before making your move, it is usually best to first consult with a competent legal representative to review your case and explore remedies suitable to your situation.

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