Errors during surgical procedures that lead to harm can result in medical malpractice lawsuits. These mistakes, arising from factors like negligence or communication lapses, encompass various types with severe consequences for patients.

Common Surgical Errors

Some prevalent surgical errors that may lead to medical malpractice lawsuits include:

  • Operating on the wrong patient or body part, a critical mistake with severe repercussions.
  • Leaving foreign objects, such as sponges or instruments, within the body.
  • Accidentally perforating organs, causing internal injuries and infections.
  • Cutting nerves or blood vessels, resulting in paralysis or permanent damage.
  • Administering incorrect anesthesia or dosage, leading to respiratory arrest, brain damage, or death.

Elements of Medical Malpractice

To establish surgical error as medical malpractice, patients must demonstrate:

  • The surgeon owed a duty of care to the patient.
  • The surgeon breached this duty by failing to meet the standard of care.
  • The breach caused the patient’s injuries.
  • The injuries were foreseeable and preventable.

Standard of Care

The standard of care is the level of care a reasonably prudent surgeon would provide under similar circumstances, considering factors like training, experience, available resources, and accepted practices in the medical community.

Evidence of Medical Malpractice

Various forms of evidence can support a medical malpractice claim, including:

  • Medical records.
  • Testimony from expert witnesses.
  • Visual evidence like photographs.
  • Patient testimony.


Successful medical malpractice claims may entitle patients to damages, covering:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Punitive damages.


Surgical errors can lead to severe consequences, and if you’ve suffered due to such an error, seeking compensation is possible. Consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, such as Bland Richter, can provide clarity on your legal rights and options.