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Surgical Malpractice

Individuals routinely inquire about potential malpractice claims arising from surgical procedures. However, it is important to keep in mind that a bad surgical result does not necessarily equate to or rise to the level of surgical malpractice. The standards of Texas malpractice law apply as in any other medical claim: There must have been an error committed; the error must have been one that a reasonable healthcare provider would not have committed under the same or similar circumstances; and, the error must have been the cause of the resulting damages or injuries. Many times, surgery is a last effort undertaken to rectify an otherwise difficult medical condition. Thus, when surgery fails to correct the problem, it is often seen as having been conducted inappropriately. Surgical cases must be thoroughly investigated to determine whether the doctor failed to act reasonably, or whether some other person in the operating room acted unreasonably. Active and aggressive discovery of all persons in the operating room is essential. There are numerous healthcare providers in the operating room and each must be examined to determine where and how the mistakes may have been made. The only way to effectively make this determination involves investigating and finding the names of all operating room personnel: the surgeon, assisting surgeons, scrub nurses, technical nurses, anesthesiologists, observers, and any other person that may have been a part of the operating team.

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