How TV Shows and Real Life Differ on Surgical Errors

doctor worried about medical malpractice

Your favorite medical TV show might have glamorized surgical lawsuit battles and made them seem like easy to settle deals. However, it may shock you to realize how TV shows and real life differ on surgical errors. It is never easy to sue for a surgical error. It is even harder if you have no professional legal advisor.

Here are some of the examples of how TV shows and real life differ on surgical errors.

What Is the Difference Between TV Shows and Real Life Surgical Errors?

1. Perfect Surgeries

Watching shows like The Resident and ER may have given you the impression that surgeries will always go smoothly without any malpractice. They tend to depict an environment free from medical personnel error, which is not the case in real life. A lot may go wrong in a surgical theatre, and sometimes, these errors are preventable.

2.  Rogue Surgeons

Erring surgeons on TV often acknowledge their mistakes and do their best to help their patients go through the complications arising from their surgery. However, in real life, there are rogue surgeons who, in fear of shame, litigation, blame, and to secure their reputation, will do their best to absolve themselves.

3. Evidence

Unlike the staged surgical error lawsuits you see on TV, dealing with such legal battles is not remotely as easy. It involves many processes and gathering of evidence that will enable you to come up with an airtight case that will ensure you or your loved one gets the proper justice you deserve.

What Are Some Surgical Malpractices?

Here are some of the surgical errors you may not have seen in your favorite medical shows. The law considers these errors to be outright surgical malpractices, and you should file lawsuits in case you are a victim of any of them:

1. Wrong Site Surgeries

These are surgeries in which the medical team performs surgery on the wrong area other than the intended one. For instance, having your left leg amputated instead of your cancerous right one. 

2. Wrong Procedure Surgeries

Studies have shown that this form of error is particularly prevalent among spine surgeons. It is a grave error that may lead to the loss or interference of a well-functioning organ while the ailing one remains unattended and poses more threat to the patient.

3. Wrong Patient Surgery

Due to miscommunication within the hospital and lack of proper policies, the wrong patient may undergo surgery, leading to the loss of perfectly functioning body parts or organs. One classic example is a case in which a patient underwent a cardiac procedure meant for a patient with a similar last name.

When Should I Sue After a Surgical Error?

A common mistake a victim may make is failing to sue for malpractices or delaying to file their lawsuit. Different states have varying statutes of limitations; therefore, it would be best to file the lawsuit immediately to discover the effect of the malpractice on you.  

What Should I Consider Before Filing a Lawsuit?

1. Malpractice vs. Normal Complications

Before you file a lawsuit, however, it is important to establish whether your complications result from malpractice. Surgeries are very risky procedures, and sometimes, complications or death are inevitable, and the law cannot regard them as the surgeon’s mistake.

2. Seek Professional Advice

Malpractice lawsuits can be very difficult for anyone without legal experience. It is best not to press charges without first engaging a seasoned surgical error lawyer. A good lawyer will ensure you get justice and compensation for your pain and suffering.