Surgery can go wrong resulting in a patient being injured or even dying. Most surgeons have a specialist area these days making generalisations on this subject difficult. However, there are certain issues that are common to all surgical cases.
The most frequent causes of claims for surgical errors are a lack of informed consent, misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis resulting in delayed surgery, inadvertent lacerations of adjacent anatomy or organs during the procedure, failure to recognise post-operative bleeding and/or poor post-operative care.
Before performing any surgery, all surgeons must have the patient’s agreement to have the surgery done except in emergency situations. In order for consent to be valid, a patient must be advised of and understand all the known associated risks and possible adverse outcomes before agreeing to undergo the procedure. A medical negligence claim may arise in circumstances where a patient has undergone a surgical procedure without being fully informed of the risks associated with the surgery.