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7 Real-Life Examples of Surgical Errors

When you go into surgery, you want to trust that everything will go according to plan. Unfortunately, surgeons are only human, and mistakes do happen. That said, it is the surgeon's responsibility do their job competently. If you have been the victim of a surgical error in Maryland, it's time to talk to a surgical error attorney.

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7 Real-Life Examples of Surgical Errors

1. The 13-Inch Retractor That Was Never Retracted

In 2000, a man went into the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle for the removal of an abdominal tumor. While the tumor was successfully taken out, the surgeons failed to also remove a 13-inch retractor they had used during the procedure. When the error was discovered later, the victim filed a claim and received a $97,000 payout.

Unfortunately, incidents in which a medical device is left inside a patient are a more common form of medical malpractice than you might think. In fact, thousands of situations like this occur every year.

2. The Case of the Waking Nightmare

It might sound more like a nightmare than reality, but in 2006 a West Virginia man was all too awake during his surgery. The trouble started when the Raleigh Anesthesia Associates failed to administer his anesthesia correctly. As a result, he was paralyzed but awake for a full hour of the painful procedure.

According to a claim filed on his behalf after he committed suicide, the experience of anesthesia consciousness caused him to develop panic attacks and psychiatric conditions. Following this incident, the victim's family filed a claim that was settled privately. Their experience demonstrates that plaintiffs can be awarded payouts for emotional damages and other expenses that involve subjective monetary values.

3. It's Not Rocket Science…but It Is Brain Surgery

In 2007, three patients received brain surgery at the Rhode Island Hospital on separate occasions. In all three cases, neurosurgeons operated on the wrong side of the head, resulting in one fatality. While it is never, ever supposed to happen, situations in which a surgeon operates on the wrong side of the body are frequent enough to make many medical malpractice attorneys familiar with the laws relating to these types of cases.

4. The C-Section Gone Awry

In one example of a surgical error that occurred in 2010, a woman experienced severe abdominal bloating following a C-section. The cause? A sponge had been left inside the site of the surgery. While surgical errors and birth injuries make up two distinct types of medical malpractice, her experience shows that in some situations they can overlap.

5. The Hysterectomy That Went Wrong

In another case of a surgical sponge that was erroneously left behind, in 2006 a Kentucky woman had to have one removed from her body after a hysterectomy. In addition to taking the sponge, surgeons were required to remove part of her small intestine as well. Her case shows that many cases of surgical error require subsequent surgeries to correct the mistake.

Victims of situations like these suffer double because many types of surgeries are emotionally trying under the best of circumstances. Experiencing medical malpractice compounds the stress of an already challenging circumstance. If you have been the victim of malpractice in Maryland, a surgical error lawyer in Baltimore can draw on extensive legal expertise to fight for the compensation you deserve.

6. A Galling Mistake

One would hope that all surgeons know one organ from another. Unfortunately, in 2006 a surgeon at the Milford Regional Medical Center in Massachusetts misread the results of a lab test. As a result of his error, he took out a patient's right kidney instead of removing his gallbladder.

As in many cases of medical malpractice, the state medical board put this physician on probation. Our state's Board of Physicians offers a database where you can check local disciplinary actions taken against medical professionals.

7. The Double Mastectomy That Shouldn't Have Happened

Operating unnecessarily is another type of mistake that surgeons make from time to time. In 2007, a 35-year-old woman had a double mastectomy that was ordered incorrectly. The error was initiated in a lab test mix-up that resulted in her doctors believing she had breast cancer. It was later discovered that she did not have cancer and could have kept both of her breasts.

Choose a Surgical Error Attorney in Maryland Who Can Handle the Reality of Malpractice

They may sound like urban myths, but all of the situations above are real-life examples of surgical error. No matter how serious your experience of medical malpractice was, the right attorney can help. The fallout from a surgical error can include medical bills, emotional damage, lost wages, and more. Working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney offers your best chance of getting all the compensation you need to move on.


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