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Is It Medical Malpractice When a Surgical Error Leads to Infection or Sepsis?


There are times when patients develop infections and sepsis as a result of surgical errors. Sometimes, these errors are caused by the surgeon or other members of the medical staff’s failure to follow safety procedures intended to prevent infections.

When a surgical error leads to infection and causes serious or permanent damage – or, in some cases, even death – the patient or surviving family members may be able to sue for medical malpractice. If you contracted infection or sepsis during or after surgery, speak with an Atlanta surgical error attorney to investigate how it happened and determine liability.

How Common Are Surgical Errors?

Human error causes more than half of surgical errors, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. In other words, these adverse surgical errors could have been prevented.

Researchers reached this conclusion after analyzing data from several hospitals over six months. During that period, the hospitals performed over 5,300 surgeries, of which 188 resulted in surgical errors. Of these, over 50% were linked to human error.

Over half of these errors were linked to cognitive bias, lack of attention, and lack of recognition. Surprisingly, such causes as poor communication or teamwork were not as prevalent.

When Surgical Infections Are Medical Malpractice

Not all infections resulting from undergoing surgery constitute medical malpractice, but if your case involves these two elements, you may be entitled to sue the negligent or careless surgeon or other medical professionals.

When it comes to proving negligence in medical malpractice cases involving surgical infections, the plaintiff must prove that:

  • The surgeon’s actions were negligent (in other words, no other reasonable surgeon would have made the same mistake under similar circumstances); or
  • The hospital’s standards or policies were unreasonably careless (for example, if the surgical infection was caused by the use of inadequately sterilized tools or lack of cleanliness).

Let our Atlanta surgical error attorney from the Carroll Law Firm help you prove the elements mentioned above to bring forward a medical malpractice claim. Call at 404-816-4555 for a free consultation.



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