Surgical Errors

Queens Surgical Error Attorney

We Can Fight for the Compensation You Deserve

There is little room for error in a surgical procedure, but surgeons and their support staff are human. They make mistakes, and at times these can cause serious harm to a patient. Some surgical errors can even cause a patient’s wrongful death.

Queens surgical error lawyer David Kates is here to offer experienced legal counsel if you or someone you love was seriously harmed as a result of a mistake before, during, or after surgery. During a career that spans over two decades, David has developed the skill and resources to take on medical professionals and their insurance providers in these complex cases. He may be able to help you.

Surgical Error Statistics

As horrific as they may be, surgical errors are surprisingly common. At least 4,000 surgical errors occur in the United States each year. According toan analysis of surgical error "never event" data between 1990 and 2010, on average, the following errors occur multiple times on a weekly basis:

  • Leaving a foreign object inside an patient's body - 39 times
  • Operating on the wrong body part - 20 times
  • Performing the wrong procedure on a patient - 20 times

Roughly $1.3 billion in surgical malpractice judgments were paid to victims during this 20-year period. It is believed that the true number of surgical errors is even higher when factoring in unreported incidents.

Types of Surgical Errors

Taking a closer look at surgical errors, we can see that they take on many forms and may involve different medical professionals involved in a surgical procedure, from the surgeon to the scrub nurse to the anesthesiologist and even those involve in pre- or post-operative care. While every surgery has a certain level of risk, surgical errors go beyond the known risks of surgery and occur unexpectedly due to human error.

The following are examples of surgical mistakes:

  • Leaving an instrument or sponge behind in a patient
  • Operating on the wrong side of the body
  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Performing the wrong procedure
  • Performing or recommending an unnecessary surgery
  • Cutting a nerve or perforating an organ
  • Incorrect incisions
  • Anesthesia dosage errors
  • Failure to monitor a patient under anesthesia
  • Failure to get informed consent prior to a procedure
  • Negligent post-operative care, leading to infection

Common Causes of Surgical Errors

No two surgeries are exactly alike, therefore every operation will have its own unique circumstances and potential for complications. With that being said, surgeons and other medical professionals have a duty to anticipate these risks and take the proper care to minimize patient harm.

Surgical errors can be caused by:

  • Incompetence or lack of skill: Surgeons who are new to the medical field or who have not performed a particular procedure very many times may lack the proper skill to perform a successful surgery.
  • Poor preoperative planning: Surgeries often require lengthy and precise preparation by both surgeons and nurses involved to ensure all necessary equipment is ready and available during operation. This includes reviewing each patient's medical history and preparing for any complications which may arise.
  • Taking shortcuts during surgery: Surgeons sometimes skip certain steps they believe to be unnecessary to save time. This can lead to costly errors.
  • Poor communication: Communication breakdowns between surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals can cause critical misunderstandings regarding the type of procedure being performed, which body part to operate on, or even proper dosage amounts.
  • Operating while fatigued: Surgeons are known to work notoriously long shifts sometimes exceeding 24 hours. Doctors who are not well-rested have a greater tendency to make mistakes.
  • Operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol: In addition to fatigue, the high-stress nature of surgery can cause surgeons to turn to drugs and alcohol to remain alert. This is an extremely dangerous practice which can lead to critical errors during surgery.
  • Using defective surgical equipment: Defective medical equipment such as surgical implants, surgical robots, pacemakers, and prosthetics can cause various complications during and after surgery.
  • Failing to adhere to proper sterilization protocols: Equipment such as scalpels, forceps, clamps, and endoscopes must be properly cleaned, disinfected, and sterilized before each surgery to minimize the risk of potentially life-threatening infection.

Proving Surgical Malpractice

A surgical error may be described as a mistake that could have been prevented if a surgeon had acted with a reasonable level of care. Surgeons, scrub nurses, anesthesiologists, and all medical professionals involved in any surgery have a duty to provide a level of care up to today’s accepted standard. This means they should act as a reasonably sensible professional would in the same or similar circumstances, with the same or similar background, training, and tools at hand.

With so many elements to a surgical malpractice case, it will be necessary to clearly define the standard of care and how a patient’s injury was caused by a deviation from that standard. In addition to using his extensive legal experience, Queens surgical error attorney David Kates works with trusted medical experts and witnesses to develop compelling, clear cases for his clients. This paves the way for better results and higher payouts, which helps injured patients build better futures.

Results Matter

Millions of Dollars Recovered for Our Clients
  • $8 Million Settlement
  • $5 Million Jury Vedict
  • $5 Million Jury Verdict
  • $4.8 Million Settlement
  • $3 Million Settlement
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What Sets David Kates Apart?

  • Personalized Attention

    David will personally handle your case from beginning to end.

  • Tenacity

    David brings a tenacious and thorough approach to understanding complex medical issues.

  • Experience & Dedication

    David has over 20 years of professional legal experience.

  • Results Driven

    David has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of his clients.

Every Client Deserves Personalized Care

David Kates prides himself in getting to the bottom of why a patient was hurt and neglected. Call (718) 866-3664 to discuss your case.

Client Testimonials

  • “I highly recommend David.”

    - Former Client

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