Surgical errors, medical malpractice and Florida law

Surgical errors can result in serious injury to patients. This article discusses these errors and when they could lead to a case of medical malpractice.

There are many situations in which patients suffer injuries while receiving medical care. An error during an initial visit can result in a missed diagnosis. A failure to careful review records can result in errors during procedures. An early discharge can result in a long term injury.

The information that follows in this article will specifically focus on medical malpractice claims within the arena of surgical medicine.

What is a surgical error?

The term medical error can include both errors of execution and errors of planning. This means physicians can make mistakes either in the initial diagnosis phase of treatment that leads to the wrong type of treatment for the patient or in the application of the treatment. So how does a medical error differ from a surgical one? Surgical errors generally refer to mistakes made by surgeons during the surgical procedure.

These can include minor mistakes that the patient may not even be aware of to those that are more extreme. Some errors within the surgical profession are so extreme they are referred to as "never events." This term refers to errors that are so egregious they should never happen. Events like forgetting a medical instrument inside the patient after a surgery, operating on the wrong surgical site or even operating on the wrong patient.

In these cases, the patient is likely eligible for compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What does Florida state law say about medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is generally a creature of state law. In Florida, the victim of an act of medical negligence bears the burden of establishing that the injury was the result of the negligence of a medical professional. This includes establishing that the professional who provided treatment violated the accepted standard of care. The accepted standard of care in Florida is the "level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers."

Meeting this standard may seem intimidating, but an experienced surgical error attorney can help. An attorney will advocate for your interests and gather the evidence needed to better ensure that your right to legal remedies is protected.

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