Articles Posted in Surgery Errors

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Surgeons have an obligation to use the utmost care when performing a procedure. Sadly, this does not always happen. If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to a surgeon’s carelessness, error or misconduct, our trusted Syracuse surgical malpractice attorneys can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping victims of medical malpractice throughout New York.

A New Jersey woman checked into NYU Langone Hospital in November of 2011 for the removal of a benign polyp on her colon. During the surgery, the surgeon allegedly failed to notice that he had burned part of the patient’s small bowel, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer. The patient was in excruciating pain after the surgery. Despite this level of pain, it took the surgeon four days to order a CAT scan, which showed a severe infection. By the time the doctors went back in to operate, the patient was in septic shock and subsequently died. The woman’s family sued the doctor, and a Manhattan jury awarded the family $13 million.

Establishing Surgical Malpractice

Just like any other type of malpractice case, establishing surgical malpractice can be complicated. However, that does not mean you shouldn’t try, it just means you should have an experienced lawyer on your side who understand how to navigate this task. In New York, to prove surgical malpractice, you must show that there was a departure, on the part of the surgeon, from the recognized standard of care and that the patient’s injury or death was directly caused by the surgeon’s conduct. In short, the plaintiff must show that the doctor did something or did not do something that he or she was supposed to do, thereby injuring the patient. In the aforementioned case, the doctor was said to have burned a part of the patient’s small bowel and did not notice. This was considered a deviation from the recognized standard of care and a direct cause of the patient’s death, which is why he was found liable for malpractice.

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Just because a surgery is considered routine does not mean it is without risks. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice from a breast augmentation, you need to reach out to a seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the emotional and financial hardships you are currently facing, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion.

Breast augmentation is an elective procedure in which the breasts are artificially enlarged through the insertion of implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles. Breast augmentation is the most common plastic surgery procedure in the United States, with more than 290,000 procedures taking place every year. And the surgery is only getting more popular. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation procedures have gone up 31 percent since 2000.

Breast augmentation, just like any other type of surgery, has its risks. Some of these risks, such as scar tissue or breast pain, may occur no matter how competent and careful the surgeon is. However, in some cases, negligence on the part of the surgeon or medical staff can be the cause of a complication. Common errors related to breast implants include, but are not limited to:

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Blindness caused by anesthesia administered during non-eye related surgery is a rare complication, but it does happen. If you or someone close to you has experienced any degree of vision loss after surgery, you need to speak to a skilled Syracuse medical malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we can meticulously analyze the facts of your case and determine whether malpractice occurred. You can trust that we understand how to navigate these extremely complex cases and protect your rights at every step of the way.

Patients must be moved during certain types of surgery to avoid putting too much pressure on specific parts of the body. If the patient is not periodically moved, the patient’s long stay in the same position can injure the optic nerve, and blindness can result. The anesthesiologist is often responsible for having the patient moved. Spinal surgeries can sometimes take more than six hours, and since the patient is on his or her stomach during surgery, the downward pressure on the patient’s chest may reduce the blood supply that returns to the heart. This, in addition to the fluids that are added to the blood stream as the patient loses blood over time, lowers the amount of oxygen that the blood carries to the brain. The diminished oxygen level can lead to the death of the optic nerve. In other words, vision loss is caused by oxygen deprivation of the optic nerve.

Post-operative blindness is completely preventable if medical professionals take appropriate measures to make sure that oxygen levels in the blood do not drop to dangerous levels. As mentioned above, patients should be moved from time to time when they are undergoing surgery with their faces down for a prolonged period of time. In addition, there are certain known risk factors that increase the risk of damage or death to the optic nerve. Patients with diabetes, patients with a history of smoking or hypertension, and obese patients are more susceptible to ischemic optic neuropathy.

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Botched abortions can have devastating consequences for a patient. If you or someone you love has been a victim of abortion malpractice, you need to reach out to a seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer who can provide you with skilled legal representation in your case. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that abortion malpractice can cause a patient both physical and emotional distress, which is why we are committed to vigorously advocating for your rights at every step of the way.

In a recent case, a 30-year-old New York woman died from complications after getting an abortion at 25 weeks pregnant. The woman seeking the abortion bled to death after the doctor allowed her to leave the clinic despite signs of grave danger (such as the patient collapsing in the bathroom of the doctor’s clinic). He gave her no further instructions or advice about seeking medical attention.

While driving home, she fell unconscious, and her sister called 911. By the time the medics arrived, the patient was already dead. The doctor’s clinic shut down shortly after her death. The doctor’s conduct in the case went beyond civil liability. He recently pled guilty to the charge of criminally negligent homicide, which carries a sentence of 1.3 to four years of jail time.

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Coronary artery bypass surgeries are among the most common types of coronary surgeries. A mistaken diagnosis or misplaced cut can result in serious injuries or even death to a patient. If you or someone close to you has suffered preventable injuries during or immediately after a coronary artery bypass surgery, you need to reach out to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney without delay. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we have helped many clients recover the compensation they deserve for their harm.

Coronary artery disease is a condition in which cholesterol and calcium plaque build up inside the coronary arteries and interfere with the oxygenation to the heart muscle. The plaque can harden and can rupture, and this significantly interferes with blood flow in the heart. Coronary artery bypass surgery is performed when an individual has severe blockages in one or more cardiac arteries. According to the Mayo Clinic, coronary bypass surgery is a surgical procedure that diverts the flow of blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in your heart. By creating a new path to the heart, coronary bypass surgery improves blood flow to your heart muscle.

Not every adverse outcome is a result of medical malpractice. In some cases, unavoidable complications would arise during any surgery. Medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional causes injuries or death by failing to adhere to the standard of care to which a reasonably prudent medical professional would have adhered in the same or a similar situation. In order to recover money damages, it is not enough to show that the medical professional deviated from the acceptable standard of care, but you also must show that the deviation was a substantial cause of your harm. Medical malpractice claims are extremely fact-intensive, and you can rest assured we can closely review all of the relevant medical records and test results in your case.

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Whether it is due to surgery or an accident, surgical staples are commonly used to close wounds. While staples can be vital to bringing the flesh and skin back together, they can result in serious injuries if they are not used properly. If you suspect that you have suffered harm due to a medical professional’s mistake in administering surgical staples, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we can thoroughly examine the facts of your case and help you figure out your next steps.

Surgical staplers are medical devices that close skin wounds without the need for stitches. The staples are used instead of sutures to close skin wounds. In some cases, these staples can be used to hold together internal organs. Sadly, an estimated 8,000 to 9,000 incidents are reported to the Food and Drug Administration each year as a result of surgical stapler use. Approximately 9 percent of these reports indicated injuries, and less than 1 percent indicated deaths. At least 65 percent of injuries or deaths that occurred were results of surgical staples used in gastrointestinal surgeries, such as gastric bypass. In addition, 19 percent of surgical staple mistakes took place in lung surgeries, and other incidents happened in appendix, cardiac, and circulatory system surgeries.

Surgical staple injuries can take place in a number of ways, including:

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Although surgical fires are rare, they are extremely serious events that can lead to longstanding injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a fire in the operating room, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our diligent and hard-working Syracuse surgical malpractice attorneys can thoroughly examine the facts of your case and help you figure out what happened.

Surgical fires are defined as fires that occur in, on, or around a patient who is undergoing a medical or surgical procedure. According the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, approximately 550-600 surgical fires take place each year. Shockingly, the patient’s body can catch fire, leading to serious injuries, disfigurement, and, in the most serious cases, even death.

While certain medical mistakes may be understandable, some are so shocking and extreme that they should never have happened. These events are commonly known as “never events,” referring to events that should never happen. Dr. Ken Kizer, former CEO of the National Quality Forum (NQF), first coined the term in 2001. Unsurprisingly, patient safety groups have deemed surgical fires as never events.

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Colon cancer is the second-most diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Colonoscopies are an important tool for colon cancer detection. While these procedures are relatively safe, injuries due to malpractice do happen. If you or someone close to you has been injured during a colonoscopy, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse cancer malpractice lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of patients at every step of the way.

A colonoscopy is a procedure that enables an examiner, typically a gastroenterologist, to evaluate the inside of the colon (large intestine or large bowel). The American Cancer Society advises that both men and women should have regular colonoscopies, beginning at age 50, to screen for colorectal cancer. A person should continue getting regular colonoscopies until the age of 75. According to a 2011 article in the Medical Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the risk of serious injury from a colonoscopy is relatively low. However, possible complications from the procedure include the following:

  • Perforations:  this takes place when a hole is punched in your bowel, causing fecal matter to leak into the abdominal cavity, which can lead to sepsis.
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Surgery is a daunting experience for most people, and it can be even more stressful if you think about the possibility of something going wrong. Unfortunately, surgical errors affect many people in New York and across the United States each year. If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury due to a surgical error, you need to reach out to a skilled Syracuse surgical malpractice attorney who can handle your case. With many years of experience, we understand how to navigate these types of claims effectively and efficiently.

According to data compiled in the National Practitioner Data Bank between the years of 1990 and 2010, in excess of 4,000 individuals who underwent surgery were hurt because of preventable surgical errors. While minor surgical errors may be understandable, some mistakes are so shocking that they should never have occurred. The medical community knows these mistakes as “never events.” Unfortunately, never events take place all across the country. In fact, the National Practitioner Data bank study revealed that 80,000 “never events” took place between 1990 and 2010. Some examples include but are not limited to:

  • Performing surgery on the wrong person;
  • Performing surgery on the wrong body part;
  • Performing the incorrect surgery altogether;
  • Leaving objects (i.e., surgical instruments) in the patient’s body;
  • Using dirty or unsterilized instruments in surgery;
  • Infusing the wrong blood type or unclean blood into a patient; or
  • Providing oxygen lines containing no gas or the wrong gas.

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