Surgical errors can take many forms, and may happen at just about any stage of the surgical process. Sometimes, a surgical error can be traced to poor pre-operative planning. In other cases, the error takes place during surgery, when a surgeon fails to notice a complication. Any of these instances may necessitate the filing of a Georgia medical malpractice claim.

In extreme cases, surgical error can involve wrong-site surgery, in which the wrong part of a patient's body is operated on, or can occur when surgical instruments are left in a patient's body after the procedure is complete.

Regardless of the instance or form, a surgical error is most certainly a form of medical negligence
, because medical professionals are expected to provide a certain standard of care to all patients. While surgical complications are sometimes unavoidable, patients do not expect to sustain injury and further suffering because of a negligent error on the part of a surgeon or medical professional.

If you have been the victim of a surgical error, you may be able to file a Georgia medical malpractice claim. It's helpful to review common forms of surgical error and when they most typically occur, to see how they may relate to your potential Georgia medical malpractice claim.

Surgical Error Before an Operation

Some forms of surgical error can occur before an operation even begins.  This is true in the case of a failure to operate. If a patient needs surgery, but either is not operated on, or doesn't undergo surgery in a timely manner and the condition worsens, the surgeon can be held liable for a failure to operate.

Failure to operate can occur when a nurse doesn't tell a surgeon about a change in the condition of a patient, or when a surgeon doesn't answer pages or show up to evaluate the patient.

Surgical error can also be caused by inadequate pre-operative planning.

To best prepare for surgery, a doctor must assess the patient's health history, including:

  • medications
  • tobacco and alcohol use;
  • family history; and
  • prior medical history. 

When pre-operative planning is not done effectively, a patient's risk for a surgical error can increase.

If you have sustained harm because of a surgical error and want to learn more about the kind of compensation you may receive, consult with an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer about how to file a Georgia medical malpractice claim.

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