5 Common Causes of Surgical Errors

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 A surgical error is a mistake made during surgery that could have been prevented. Such an error goes outside the limits of the known risks of surgery, and it is generally unforeseen. Because no two surgeons are alike, each surgical error is possibly unlike any other. According to Nolo, a website that helps consumers and small businesses find answers to their everyday legal and business questions, some of the more common reasons for surgical errors are:


It is possible that your surgeon may not have performed the procedure a sufficient number of times and does not have the necessary skills to perform the surgery so that it has a favorable outcome.

Insufficient preoperative planning

It is imperative that a surgeon be extremely prepared for surgery. Such preparation can consist of reviewing and anticipating any problems that may arise. It can also involve preparation by nurses and assistants to make certain that all of the essential equipment is accessible to the surgeon.

Incorrect work process

Some surgeons might make the egregious error of neglecting to take certain steps while performing the surgery. However, bypassing specific steps can be injurious, or even fatal, to the patient.

Ineffective communication

Lack of effective communication can cause crucial errors. For instance, a surgeon might mark an incorrect site for surgery, or neglect to ensure that all surgical equipment is readily available. We have all heard of “doctors operating on the wrong leg”. The surgeon might also give the wrong instructions regarding the correct dosage of a patient’s medication. Breakdowns in communication can have severe ramifications.


Because surgeons typically work long hours, it is common for them to be extremely tired. When people are marked by fatigue, they are more inclined to make errors compared with those who have had a sufficient rest.


If you have questions about a surgical error, and whether it constitutes medical malpractice, call the personal injury attorneys at Sugarman Law.

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