Surgical malpractice may be among the absolute most difficult of cases to prove. Most surgeries have known risks or complications described in the medical literature, and the defense usually argues these problems can occur even yet in the absence of negligence. Surgical consent forms will often have a litany of surgical problems that may occur, including damage to nerves or vessels, bleeding, and even death. That will not mean complications cannot be a result of negligence, nonetheless, it reflects why these are well-known risks.
When it could be shown that a specific bad outcome usually occurs only if you find negligence, it is called a “res ipsa loquitur” case (Latin for “the thing speaks for itself”). The clearest examples are when surgical instruments or sponges are left within the body after surgery. Several well-documented injuries, such as for example cutting the normal bile duct during gallbladder surgery and lacerating the median nerve during carpal tunnel surgery, are generally regarded as negligent by definition.
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