Recently on the blog we discussed how common diagnostic errors are in the medical field and the dangers they pose to unsuspecting patients. We wish we could tell you that this is the only type of medical malpractice that puts individuals at risk, but the truth is that there are a wide variety of medical errors that can occur that leave patients seriously injured.

One recent study shined a light on one type of medical mistake: the surgical error. Not surprisingly, surgical errors were found to be the second leading cause of medical malpractice claims, second only to errors in diagnosis. More than a third of these claims, which were filed between 2014 and 2018, accused a surgeon of lacking the technical skills necessary to perform the operation in question. Other types of surgical errors were accounted for, too, including poor communication amongst the medical team and judgment by the surgeon.

Some surgical errors are extremely egregious. For example, in 4% of claims a medical professional performed the wrong operation, and in 3% of cases the operation performed was conducted on the wrong part of the body.

All of these errors are preventable and unacceptable. Identifying the causes of these errors can be challenging, but distraction is often a key factor. Cellphone use and ringing can take a surgeon’s attention off of his or her tasks, and traffic in and out of an operating room can be disrupting. Some experts have called for medical professionals to implement policies that disallow doctors and nurses from performing duties that are nonessential in nature.

Medical malpractice can devastate your life. It can leave you with physical limitations and pain, emotional turmoil, and financial harm that threatens to ruin your stability in both the short and long-term. You can seek relief, though, through a medical malpractice legal claim. If you succeed on one of these claims, then you may be able to impose liability, obtain accountability, and recover the compensation you need to move on with life while securing financial stability. These cases are often highly contentious, though, which is why many medical malpractice victims choose to turn to competent legal professionals for assistance.