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Surgical Positioning Errors

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Assisting Injured Patients in New York

Surgical positioning is crucial during an operation. Patients are vulnerable in surgical procedures and if they are not placed in the proper position, they can be seriously injured. They may face bedsores, nerve damage, circulatory issues, cell death, joint injuries, brain damage, anesthesia errors, and severe blood loss. If you suspect you were harmed by a surgical positioning error, you should discuss your situation with the seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.

Surgical Positioning Errors

Surgical positioning errors may result in short-term or long-term injuries. Usually, positioning occurs after anesthesia is administered. The surgical positioning depends on the procedure being performed, along with many factors such as age, height and weight of the patient. The patient’s circulation and respiratory issues need to be considered. Doctors should monitor movements during the surgery to avoid serious injuries. For instance, if a child’s physical movement during a spine surgery isn’t adequately monitored, there is a risk of quadriplegia.

If you were injured due to a surgical positioning error, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Liability for Medical Malpractice

To establish medical malpractice, you will need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) your health care provider owed you a professional duty of care, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation and (4) damages. Medical malpractice can occur when a healthcare provider doesn’t abide by the professional standard of care by failing to position the patient properly, thereby directly harming the patient. In New York, the professional standard of care depends on what a competent health care provider in the same specialty and geographic region would have done under the same or similar circumstances. This is called the locality rule.

In most cases, a medical malpractice lawyer in Syracuse would retain an expert to explain the professional standard of care for the specific surgical procedure, how the surgeon or other health care provider breached it, and how the breach resulted in injuries to the patient. You may not be able to tell, as a layperson, whether improper positioning or failure to monitor your movements during the surgery is what caused injuries.


If you can establish liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These are damages that situate you in the same position you would have been in had there been no professional negligence. You can recover both economic and noneconomic damages for injuries. The precise damages will depend on the nature and extent of the injuries.

Economic losses can include wage loss, medical bills, medical equipment, rehabilitation, therapy, and alterations to the home. For example, if you were paralyzed due to a surgical error, you may need to undergo physical therapy and alter your home to accommodate a wheelchair, such as by installing a wheelchair ramp. These costs may be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Noneconomic losses can include mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium. The amount of these damages will depend on what intangible losses the jury believes flow from the particular injuries. If you were a basketball player who suffers from paralysis due to a surgical positioning error, you may experience a loss of enjoyment in life because you can no longer play basketball. As a father, you may no longer be able to play with your kids, and you may not be able to teach them to play basketball. It would be important to show the jury all of the emotional harms you’ve personally suffered due to the paralysis.

Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorneys for Syracuse Residents

Surgical positioning errors can cause serious harm. Often a patient does not understand what caused the injuries. If you suffered an injury during surgery, you should discuss your situation with a seasoned medical malpractice attorney who can send your medical records and the facts to a credible expert to review whether a surgical positioning error caused the harm. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents injured patients in Syracuse, Rochester and everywhere in Upstate New York, including in Oswego, Elmira, Watertown, Lowville, Binghamton, Canandaigua, Herkimer, Cooperstown, Utica, Ithaca, Oneida, Wampsville, Auburn, and Lyons. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY