Common Surgical Errors


Before understanding what some common causes of surgical malpractice are, one must first understand or at least have a basic idea of what malpractice in the medical field is.

Within the context of a doctor patient relationship, mistakes can be made. Some mistakes are harmless, while others are not. The difference between the two, however, is substantial. Harmless mistakes, or other mistakes that fall within acceptable parameters within medicine, may not amount to negligence that a patient can sue a doctor over.

The experienced Kingston surgical malpractice attorney is looking for mistakes that fall outside of the standards set by the medical profession. Determining if a mistake was caused by a breach of professional standards is a matter of answering a simple question.

Did the surgeon in question operate on the patient with the same degree of skill and care as would any other prudent and similarly trained surgeon from the same field, community, and under similar circumstances? If the answer is no, the surgeon’s performance was carried out below this standard, than the operating surgeon committed surgical malpractice.

If the surgeon’s mistake injured the patient and the patient suffered damages (i.e. pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, etc.), the patient may than sue to recover those losses.

It is really quite basic; the surgeon had a duty to the patient, that duty was broken, the patient was injured and caused to suffer damages.

How do negligent mistakes happen? The reasons are very common and the following details some of the more common causes of surgical malpractice.

Lack of Care (Neglect):

Paying mind to hospital and operating room protocols, such as using sterilized instruments, proper hand sanitation, wearing the proper clothing, and adhering to the hospitals tried and true methods is not something that doctors always obey. Failing to care about these things is a breach of duty; harm can come to the patient.


This is when the surgeon performing the operation is simply too inexperienced to successfully treat the patient. Often times, surgeons have had nothing more than a pittance of training in regard to the procedure being performed. Sometimes hospitals do not require more than a small amount of practice time performing certain procedures before allowing surgeons to operate without supervision.


Surgeons and other hospital staff work very long shifts under high stakes situations. In time, tiredness sets in and poor decisions are made. Mistakes occur that would not have been made had the surgeon gotten more rest.

Poor Preoperative Care:

Surgeons must have thoroughly reviewed the patient’s medical history, charts, and understood the possible problems that can arise in order to give the patient proper care.

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