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The Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Risk Management Foundation recently released the results of a study they conducted concerning substandard surgical care.

The study surveyed the statistics compiled by four medical malpractice insurance companies during their investigation of over four hundred claims involving patients who’d suffered serious injury or death during their hospital stays.  These statistics showed that about sixty (60%) percent of all such adverse events were attributable to surgical care – whether before, during, or after surgery –  and that more than half of these adverse events were avoidable.

The most common causes of malpractice in these instances were inadequate surgical training and experience, excessive workload and fatigue, and sloppy, irresponsible post-operative care owing to inattentiveness and breakdowns in communication between caregivers, particularly when handing-off the patient from one department to another.

About 60% of patients were under, and 40% over, the age of 50, with the male/female ratio being about even.  Approximately 65% percent of these patients sustained serious injury, and another 23% suffered death. 

75% of all injuries occurred during the operation itself, including 8% performed at the wrong body location or on the wrong patient.

Types of substandard operations in order of frequency were gastrointestinal surgery, including bowel obstruction surgery, laparoscopic procedures, and gastric bypass (22%), spinal surgery (14%), orthopedic surgery (10%), cardiothoracic and thoracic surgery (9%), gynecological – hysterectomy surgery (7%), vascular surgery (6%), and ENT surgery (5%).

Malpractice Lawyers NJ

If you or your loved one has been harmed by surgical malpractice, contact Malpractice Lawyers NJ Attorney Patrick Amoresano for a free consultation at 201-704-2280.