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Many malpractice claims linked to surgery

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

When people in Brooklyn go to the hospital or a clinic for surgery, they expect to receive accurate care. In some cases, however, they may find themselves experiencing additional suffering as a result of a medical mistake or a poorly trained surgeon. According to one study, surgical errors are the second most common reason for medical malpractice claims filed against physicians. From 2014 to 2018, one-quarter of all malpractice cases were linked to surgery. This was outstripped only by diagnostic errors, which amounted to 32% of the total.

Over three-fourths of these claims were related to the performance of the surgeon during the procedure, including surgical mistakes and other issues that could affect the results. Of those, 39% said that the physician that performed the procedure did not have the technical skills to do so properly, while 27% alleged that the doctor failed to use their clinical judgment properly. There were other serious issues, although they were less common. In 7% of cases, a surgeon left a foreign object behind, while an unnecessary procedure was performed in 4% of cases. In 3% of cases, the surgery was performed on the wrong part of the body or on the wrong patient altogether.

Some types of surgery were more likely than others to involve mistakes and malpractice claims. Three types, general surgery, orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, accounted for almost half of all the cases. Surgical errors were likely to have serious, long-term consequences for patients, with 29% of the cases involving permanent, significant damage and 9% involving a fatality.

Medical errors can lead to severely worsened health outcomes and costly medical bills. In some cases, people may need additional procedures to correct the original mistake. A medical malpractice attorney may work with injured patients to pursue compensation for their damages.