New York Surgical Error Attorneys


They’re called “never events” – serious medical errors that are preventable and should never occur. Despite strict safety procedures in place to reduce never events, these avoidable and tragic situations continue to happen in hospitals nationwide.

Surgical errors are one type of never event, where the wrong site, wrong surgery or wrong patient is operated on in a gross act of medical negligence. According to healthcare accreditation organization, The Joint Commission, an astounding 1,300 to 2,700 surgical errors happen every year in the U.S. Surgical errors can be the most serious form of medical mistake made, potentially disfiguring a patient or endangering their life.

Types of Surgical Errors

Wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient are the most common type of surgical errors. The Joint Commission reports that approximately 40-60 wrong-site surgeries occur in the U.S. each week.

There a number of other surgical errors hospital staff can make too. Sometimes surgical mistakes occur without the patient immediately realizing it. For example, operating instruments may be left inside the patient’s body. Other times, post-surgical care may be substandard, giving rise to a surgical site infection that spreads into a systemic disease.

In some instances, a surgery performed may not even be medically necessary.

A 2011 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed records for over 100,000 patients who had surgery to place a pacemaker-like device. In nearly one quarter of these cases, researchers found no medical evidence to support the need to implant the device.

The journal Surgical Neurology International also conducted a study in 2011 that reviewed 274 patients with neck and back pain. Nearly a fifth of the patients were told they needed surgery, although no medical tests indicated this to be true.

Elective procedures can also turn patients into victims. A poorly-performed plastic or cosmetic surgery can produce results that do nothing to improve the patient’s appearance, but are deforming and embarrassing.

Reconstruction procedures are designed to enhance a patient’s features. In the hands of an incompetent plastic surgeon, a reconstruction procedure can give the patient an appearance worse than what the plastic surgery was meant to repair. Breast augmentation by a careless surgeon can mean an asymmetrical bust line at best – or at worst, a painful and life-threatening outcome.

Why Surgical Errors Occur

In their 2014 publication Wrong-Site Surgery, the Joint Commission warns hospitals that: “Wrong site surgeries are massively underreported. Don’t assume you have a good process because you haven’t had a wrong-site surgery.”

Surgical errors are often attributable to 4 major flaws in hospital procedure:

  1. Failure to properly document surgical bookings
  2. Inadequate patient verification during the pre-op process
  3. Distractions and rushing in the operating room
  4. Disengaged and un-empowered staff

What’s more, hospitals are having a harder time than ever keeping patient safety a priority.

Currently there are not enough hospitals to meet the public demand for healthcare services. In the state of New York, 28 hospitals have recently closed, raising concerns from nurses and other medical professionals statewide as they struggle to continue to provide safe, quality care.

Seeking Legal Assistance

The lawyers at Oshman & Mirisola are advocates for surgery error victims. We want to help you through this difficult time as you cope with the aftermath of a terrible surgical error that should never have happened in the first place. We understand the shock and horror that this mistake has struck upon you and your family. We feel that it is unfair and unjust when professionals who are there to help you instead put your health in jeopardy.

Our firm has a proven track record of successfully representing many medical malpractice victims in New York and New Jersey.  Some of our past case results include:

  • $850,000 – client acquired severe brachial palsy during a 9-hour surgical procedure in which the medical staff failed to readjust the patient’s arm as required.
  • $3,900,000 – client receiving chemotherapy was severely burned by excessive radiation dosage.
  • $1,600,000 – client developed vascular necrosis due to hospital staff’s failure to detect bullet fragment, despite x-ray evidence.

Surgical error cases are often very complicated, requiring expertise from attorneys familiar with this type of law. There is also a time limit for seeking justice in both New York and New Jersey. The sooner you contact a reputable attorney, the better your chances are of winning the compensation you need and deserve.

At Oshman & Mirisola, we will review your case for free and at no obligation. Let us determine your next legal steps so that you can get on the road to healing. Reach out to us today by phone, or by filling out our contact form.

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