Orthopedic Surgery Errors

Jeffrey R. Davis

Not all orthopedic surgery errors are the result of medical malpractice. But the mistake that injured you might be, depending on the circumstances. If that’s the case, you may have a right to obtain compensation for your harm. 

What is Medical Malpractice? 

Under Florida law, medical malpractice is negligence by a healthcare provider that causes injuries. You, the plaintiff (the one filing the lawsuit), have the burden to prove it’s more likely than not that the alleged actions or inactions of the healthcare provider are a breach of the “prevailing professional standard of care for that healthcare provider.”  

That is the level of care, skill, and treatment that, given the relevant circumstances, is recognized as “acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar healthcare providers.” If your orthopedic surgeon, or a member of the surgical team, fails to live up to this standard and you’re injured, you may be compensated for what you’ve gone through, including payment for any needed corrective surgery or health care. 

What Types of Surgical Errors May Be Medical Malpractice? 

Surgical errors are preventable mistakes that can occur before, during, and after surgical procedures. They can have severe consequences for you, including complications, injuries, or even death. Some common surgical errors include: 

  • Wrong-Site Surgery: This occurs when a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body. For example, a surgeon may perform surgery on the left knee when it was supposed to be the right knee. 
  • Wrong-Patient Surgery: Similar to wrong-site surgery, this error involves operating on the wrong patient altogether. It can happen when there is a mix-up in patient identification. 
  • Surgical Instruments Left Inside the Patient: Surgeons and their teams are responsible for keeping track of all surgical instruments used during a procedure. Failing to account for all the instruments used and leaving one inside you can lead to infection, pain, and other complications. 
  • Anesthesia Errors: Anesthesia is a critical part of surgery. Errors in anesthesia can include administering too much or too little anesthesia. This can result in complications, including inadequate pain control, brain damage, or death. 
  • Nerve Damage: Nerve damage can cause temporary or permanent loss of function or sensation in the affected area. This can happen if a surgeon inadvertently injures nearby nerves while performing the procedure. 
  • Infections: Surgical site infections can develop if the surgical team does not follow proper sterilization and hygiene protocols. Infections can prolong recovery, cause additional health issues, and even become life-threatening in severe cases. 
  • Bleeding or Hemorrhage: Excessive bleeding during surgery can lead to complications, including shock or the need for additional surgery to control the bleeding. 
  • Organ or Tissue Damage: Surgical mistakes may damage nearby organs or tissues. For example, poorly performed abdominal surgery may injure nearby organs like the intestines or bladder. 
  • Medication Errors: Errors in medication administration before, during, or after surgery can lead to adverse reactions, drug interactions, or complications. 
  • Poor Communication: Inadequate communication among members of the surgical team can result in errors. These errors can include misinterpretation of instructions or a lack of coordination during the procedure. 
  • Postoperative Care Errors: Mistakes in postoperative care, including inadequate monitoring, failure to address complications promptly, or improper wound care, can lead to injuries 

Are You the Victim of Surgical Mistakes? 

If you think you’ve fallen victim to any of these failures to meet professional standards, contact the Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. law firm today!

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