Errors in surgery range from subtle misjudgments and failures to shocking mistakes like the removal of healthy organs and the amputation of incorrect limbs. Regardless of the circumstances, a best-possible legal result is dependent on a thorough legal investigation and aggressive, skilled and knowledgeable negotiation and litigation.
Contact us today online or by telephone at 888-335-9457 to speak with an experienced New York medical malpractice law firm.
Surgical Errors Attorneys in New York City for Almost 40 Years
The attorneys of the New York medical malpractice law firm of Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP have handled complex surgical error legal cases for almost four decades and can work effectively to pursue your best possible result following surgeons' errors. We have handled cases involving:
- The careless and negligent use of hospital equipment, including scalpels and electronic monitoring equipment
- Unnecessary surgery resulting in patient harm
- The incorrect and catastrophic removal of limbs and organs
- Anesthesiology errors
- Surgical instruments and sponges left in the body
Wrong Surgery Site Errors
A medical study in 2011 concluded that wrong surgery site errors occur at 40 cases per week. By one measure, the reported cases have almost doubled since 2004. Sadly, each case was completely preventable. Many errors are traced to independent-minded physicians and staff for failing to follow simple protocol. Some of the more common medical malpractice occurrences are:
- Removing the wrong leg or arm
- Removing an organ from the wrong patient
- Operating on the wrong side of a patient by reversing an X-ray
- Operating on the wrong eye
- Surgical treatment on the wrong spinal disk
Prostate surgery and other cancer surgery in patients who were cancer-free
Intubation and Tracheal Tube Malpractice
Intubation is the placement of a flexible plastic tube into the windpipe (trachea). The procedure is used to maintain an open airway and ensure that a patient receives adequate oxygen supply in various situations such as during surgery or illness. A steady supply of oxygen is essential to prevent brain damage and injury to other vital organs.
Such an injury can result in permanent mental or physical disability. Tracheal intubation in an emergency setting can prove difficult and consequences of an error may be grave therefore doctors are expected to have the expertise necessary before carrying out this important procedure.
Unnecessary Or Excessive Incisions
A relatively common complication during surgery occurs when the surgeon makes unnecessary or sloppy incisions. This can result in the perforation of an organ, artery, or other tissue, resulting in excessive bleeding or damage to the organ or an improper incision (a surgical cut that is too deep, too long, at the wrong location, etc.). These can lead to pain, infection, the need for further surgical intervention, and even death.
Surgical "Never Events"
Sometimes surgeons make mistakes during surgery that are so far outside the realm of reason as to be almost unbelievable. Examples include surgeons leaving medical equipment such as sponges or surgical clamps in patients after the operation, removing the wrong limb or organ, or even performing the wrong procedure entirely.
Medical professionals call these "never events" because they should never happen. Unfortunately, studies show that they occur at a rate of at least 4,000 a year.
A Recent Case Illustrates Our Effectiveness At Handling Surgical Error Cases
Our client submitted to surgery for the removal of uterine fibroids. During the procedure the surgeon mistakenly removed one of her kidneys, believing it was a fibroid.
Our investigation yielded evidence of negligence, including a video of the laparoscopic procedure showing the removal of the healthy organ. The defendant refused to make a fair offer in negotiations and we took the case to trial. The result was a jury verdict of $2.8 million.
If you have questions regarding surgical errors and medical malpractice law, contact a New York surgical error lawyer at Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP for a no-charge consultation.
Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP offers free initial consultations, work on a contingency fee basis, and is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan. To contact us, call 888-335-9457.