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Surgery second most common type of malpractice claim

Georgia readers might be concerned to learn that surgery is one of the riskiest procedures medical patients can undergo. In fact, a new report finds that operation errors are the second most common reason that doctors are sued for malpractice.

Researchers from Coverys, a medical liability insurer, analyzed closed malpractice claims between the years of 2014 and 2018 and found that around 25% of all claims involved surgery, making it the second most common type of claim. Meanwhile, the most common type of claim involved diagnosis errors, accounting for 32% of all claims.

Of the 2,579 surgery-related malpractice claims included in the report, 78% involved performance errors made by a surgeon during a procedure. However, all points of decision-making and care leading up to a surgical procedure were named in various claims. According to the report, the most common surgical specialties associated with malpractice claims were general surgery, accounting for 22% of claims, orthopedic surgery, accounting for 17% of claims, and neurosurgery, accounting for 8% of claims. Together, those three specialties accounted for 50% of all surgery-related claims. Finally, around 29% of all surgical injuries reported in claims were considered to be "permanent significant" or worse. Around 9% of injuries caused the death of patients.

Patients who are harmed by surgical errors might have grounds to take legal action against the doctor and hospital responsible for the mistake. By contacting a personal injury attorney, patients could learn more about their legal rights and have the merits of their case assessed. If the attorney determines that a doctor failed to provide the standard of care, he or she might recommend filing a medical malpractice claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages and more.

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