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Surgical errors and medical malpractice claims

Most people here in Delaware and around the country expect there to be some risks involved with a surgical procedure. Even so, they do not expect the surgeon or a member of the surgical team to make a mistake that causes them serious injury or death. When it is believed that surgical errors occurred, the victim and/or their families retain the right to file medical malpractice claims.

Medical malpractice is a segment of civil law that relates to errors made by doctors, nurses and medical facilities, along with other medical professionals. Not everything that goes wrong during a surgery is malpractice, however. Only when a medical professional fails to meet the standard of care of a similarly situated medical professional does malpractice become an issue.

Most Delaware residents have heard horror stories about doctors who have operated on the wrong body parts, left surgical instruments in patients or nicked other organs, arteries or veins. Some patients contract serious staph infections post-surgery that leave them with serious and/or permanent injuries if they survive. Other patients receive the wrong medication, and even if it is the right medication, they receive the wrong dosage.

When people in other professions make mistakes, people's lives are often not in danger. When surgical errors occur, patients and their families' lives could be altered forever. Filing a medical malpractice claim could provide victims and their families with much needed restitution that could help with the financial losses. For many Delaware residents, these claims are also about preventing the same mistakes from hurting anyone else.

Source:, "What is medical malpractice?", Melissa Thompson, Sept. 1, 2016

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