Top Mistakes Made by Negligent Neurosurgeons

A group of focused doctors meticulously reviewing a surgery on a monitor, displaying their commitment to precision and collaboration.

It’s common to encounter risks and resolvable errors during a surgical procedure. However, some surgical errors are far-reaching and deal massive physical, emotional, and financial damage to a patient’s life, family, and well-being.

Often, these errors leave patients incapacitated for a long time or the rest of their lives. This leads to them losing their job or succumbing to insurmountable debts, which can change their lives for the worst.

Fortunately, surgical error victims can pursue legal action against a negligent neurosurgeon or medical institution. In a successful claim, patients could recover money to support their recovery or provide for their families.

New York City surgical error attorneys are adept at cracking medical malpractice cases. They possess the skill and experience to help victims build their legal claims against negligent neurosurgeons.

If you want to learn how you can protect yourself or someone you know from neurosurgical mistakes, you must recognize the most common surgical errors that negligent neurosurgeons can make.

Contact our attorneys at The Pagan Law Firm to discuss your surgical error case. We will fight for you in the court room and provide you legal advice throughout the entire process.

What is a Surgery Error?

A surgical procedure error is a preventable mistake that a medical practitioner makes during surgery. By definition, a surgical error is a result of negligence, which could be caused by many factors, such as the following:

  • Lack of proper skills or training: A medical practitioner may not be equipped with the necessary skills to perform a successful surgery.
  • Inexperience: Healthcare professionals must practice their craft repeatedly before they can become proficient in performing complex surgical procedures.
  • Mistakes from the operating room staff: Operating room personnel, such as nurses and technicians, can make mistakes during a procedure that can lead to serious medical errors.
  • Exhaustion from extensive working hours: Surgery can be lengthy, and healthcare practitioners can sometimes become too exhausted to perform their duties in the operating room effectively.

Surgical errors vary in severity, ranging from minor slips to life-threatening errors that could cost a patient’s life. Even the most routine surgical procedure can result in a medical error if the surgeons are exhausted or untrained.

Mistakes Made by Negligent Neurosurgeons

Surgical error cases vary depending on the nature of the mistake. Below are some of the most common negligent surgical errors encountered in the operating room.

Failure to Monitor Vital Signs During Surgery

By far the most common, this surgical error happens when a neurosurgeon fails to properly monitor their patient’s vital signs.

Different patients have varying reactions to surgical procedures, but people with preexisting conditions are more prone to adverse reactions.

Neurosurgeons and other involved medical professionals must monitor the following vital signs:

  • Blood pressure
  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate
  • Blood oxygen saturation
  • Respiratory rate

When vital signs fluctuate, a doctor must act fast to prevent any long-term consequences or death. Failing to monitor vital signs can cause the patient to suffer from organ damage due to oxygen deprivation or other medical risks associated with an operation.

Failing to Detect Swelling in the Brain

Brain swelling is a common reaction after invasive brain surgery. This reaction releases significant pressure inside the skull and can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Your neurosurgeon must monitor you carefully for brain swelling after surgery and prescribe an oral or injectable steroid to help prevent severe brain damage.

If your doctor recommended steroids to minimize brain swelling, they must also help you transition off the medication to prevent unwanted reactions. The sudden cessation of steroid treatments can sharply decrease your blood pressure and weaken your adrenal glands.

Misreading or Failing to Properly Fill Out a Patient’s Chart

According to a statistical study published in PubMed, researchers found 260 out of the 6,930 screened medical transcriptions are discrepant or inconsistent with the original medical order. 37 out of the 260 discrepant results contained potentially life-threatening errors.

Clerical errors or wrong information in a patient’s chart prevent doctors or other medical professionals from providing proper care and treatment for their patient.

Maintaining an accurate medical chart is the responsibility of medical practitioners, and any discrepancies should be quickly addressed.

Cutting Into the Wrong Section of the Brain

In 2013, an infamous wrong-site surgery case garnered many raised eyebrows in the clinical and legal industry.

This particular case involved a 53-year-old woman who was scheduled to receive surgery to restore normal blood flow in the left side of her brain. After the procedure, it was found that the neurosurgeon performed the procedure on the right side of her brain, permanently affecting her ability to speak.

In most cases, wrong-site surgery is often a result of a lack of quality control procedures or safety protocols. Mistakes like these are preventable if due care is observed inside the operating room.

Cutting Into the Brain Incorrectly

Brain surgery is undeniably a complicated medical procedure, and one wrong move can kill the patient or severely impede their life in the future.

Because of the surgery’s complexity, neurosurgeons must take extra care to ensure that all incisions are made in the correct locations.

Unfortunately, incision errors can still occur because of many factors. A neurosurgeon could accidentally nick a nerve or artery, incorrectly read an imaging result, or miss visible surgical markers because of stress and pressure.

Performing Unapproved or Experimental Procedures Without Permission

Surgery consent is a written agreement between a physician and the patient to carry out a procedure. This document outlines the nature and inherent risks of the procedure and must be signed by all parties before the surgery can take place.

Performing surgery without informed consent is a criminal offense, and the doctor performing the procedure may face civil or criminal penalties.

Although there are circumstances in which surgical consent can be waived (i.e., life-threatening situations), the medical provider must inform the patient or their loved ones about the necessity of surgery before conducting one.

Failing to Inform a Patient About All of the Potential Risks

As repeatedly mentioned in this blog post, surgeries come with inherent risks that a surgeon must disclose to the patient before they can consent.

Even if the success rate is low, the patient must be made aware of all the potential risks of a surgical procedure. Failing to inform a patient about the risks involved can result in malpractice lawsuits, which is why doctors need to explain everything to the patient before their surgery.

Informing patients and their loved ones about the risk of a surgical procedure helps them set realistic expectations and make better decisions about their medical care.

Failing to Administer Proper Aftercare

Patients are likely to develop complications after a surgical procedure if they lack proper aftercare. That’s why medical providers must give patients adequate aftercare instructions and follow-ups.

Aftercare involves ensuring wounds are healing correctly, monitoring vital signs, administering medication, confirming no infection is developing, and addressing any pain or discomfort the patient may be experiencing.

If your doctor didn’t provide you with proper aftercare instructions or follow-ups after the brain surgery, they might be liable for medical malpractice and negligence if you develop any complications.

Other Errors

There are many forms of errors that could stem from a neurosurgeon’s negligence, such as the following:

  • Operating brain surgery on the wrong patient
  • Leaving foreign objects inside the patient’s body
  • Administering incorrect medication
  • Administering an improper dose of anesthetics
  • Performing unnecessary surgery
  • Failing to order appropriate tests for the patient before or after the surgery

If you believe that your neurosurgeon has been negligent and caused you harm, it is essential to seek the help of a medical malpractice attorney. An experienced lawyer can review the case, investigate whether any negligence was involved, and advise on the best course of action for a successful claim. Contact The Pagan Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.

Complications That Are Caused by a Neurosurgical Error

The brain is one of the body’s most critical yet sensitive organs. Experts name this essential organ the body’s control center because it regulates almost every automatic vital process, such as breathing, digestion, heartbeat regulation, etc.

Because of this, even the slightest surgical mistake in the brain can significantly damage your daily living and quality of life. Here are some fatal complications that could arise from a surgical complication.

Permanent Brain Damage

Probably one of the most evident and known outcomes of a neurosurgical error is permanent brain damage. There are two types of brain damage, which are traumatic and acquired.

Traumatic brain damage is caused by a direct injury to the head, while acquired brain damage is brought about by inadequate oxygen supply to the brain, which could lead to a coma or even death.

In terms of surgical complications, permanent brain damage usually arises from incision errors or an accidental cut to an artery or nerve.

The effects of permanent damage are far-reaching and vary depending on the nature of the injury. The injury could cause physical limitations, cognitive issues, poor social skills, difficulty speaking, and even paralysis.


Did you know that paralysis is commonly observed after invasive brain surgery to remove a brain tumor? Although it’s somewhat common to notice mild paralysis following successful brain surgery, it can also occur due to a neurosurgical error.

Paralysis results from nerve damage and can affect a specific part of your body (e.g., the arms, legs, or vocal cords), a section of your body, or its entirety. Hemiplegia is a paralytic condition that affects one side of the body, while quadriplegia is a type of paralysis that affects all four limbs.

The severity and duration of the damage depend on the affected nerve. Common paralysis after brain surgery often takes weeks or months to resolve itself, but in cases of severe nerve damage, paralysis can be permanent and require extensive rehabilitation.

Wrongful Death

The brain is connected to countless vertebral arteries and the most critical internal carotid artery, which connects directly through the heart.

If a neurosurgeon made a negligent and potentially fatal error of nicking or puncturing one of these arteries, it could cause a massive hemorrhage and ultimately lead to death.

In cases where family members lose a loved one due to the doctor’s negligence or incompetence, the family has the right to file a wrongful death claim against the doctor or hospital with help from an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Possible Memory and Functional Damages

Memory loss after a brain operation is often common, and this condition is called post-traumatic amnesia. The patient may also experience behavioral and functional changes, such as feelings of agitation or aggression or mild paralysis in a certain section of the body.

However, negligent damage to the brain could cause permanent amnesia or functional impairment. Damage to the brain’s normal function is often caused by untreated brain swelling or nicks to the twelve pairs of cranial nerves connected to the brain.

Blood Clots in the Body

Complications such as blood clots or strokes are common risks during any invasive surgery. According to Science Daily, pulmonary embolism is the primary cause of lung blood clots following brain surgery.

DVT, or Deep Vein Thrombosis, is another risk associated with brain surgery. This is when a blood clot forms within deep veins due to prolonged immobility. It can potentially lead to death.

Neurosurgeons or other medical professionals must take the correct measures to ensure their patients are safe during and after surgery. Otherwise, they may be held responsible for any resulting medical complications.

Infection of the Surgical Area

As an invasive procedure, the risk of infection is always present during brain surgery. Infections can develop in the surgical area and spread to other body parts, leading to meningitis or sepsis.

Meningitis is a hazardous infection that affects the membranes (the meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord, while sepsis refers to an extreme response the body could have to infection.

The symptoms of infection vary and can include fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, fatigue, changes in mental status, and more. Infections are typically treated with antibiotics or antiviral medications.

In a controlled operation room environment, these infections shouldn’t occur due to the sanitary practices in place. But if the doctor makes an error or oversees improper sanitation measures, they may be held accountable for any resulting infections.

The Pagan Law Firm has a team of knowledgeable and trusted attorneys that are experienced in medical malpractice cases involving surgical errors. To schedule a free consultation with a surgical error attorney, give us a call at 212-967-8202.

What to Do After a Surgery Error Has Occurred

Surgical errors happen because of a neurosurgeon’s incompetence or negligence, and the consequences are often dire. If you or a loved one suffered from a medical error, it’s essential to act quickly and contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

A medical malpractice lawyer can review your case, determine if negligence was present, help you build your claims, and ensure that you get adequate medical malpractice compensation. If you need help to get started with your case, here are some steps you can follow.

Talk to a Medical Professional About Your Experience

First, if you notice any adverse effects following the surgery, you should immediately consult the involved medical professionals. This allows them to provide urgent care and treatment to fix their mistakes and mitigate the damaging effects of their negligent action.

However, if you don’t feel confident returning to your initial care provider, you should seek a second opinion from other reputable medical experts. They can help confirm the diagnosis and provide evidence to support your claims.

Document Everything That Happened

After seeking a resolution from the negligent medical provider or a second opinion from a reputable expert, make sure to document everything that happened before and after the surgical malpractice. You must also take notes on how you feel after the follow-up treatment.

Your documentation can serve as evidence for your medical malpractice claim and help you prove the extent of the damage caused by the negligent physician. You should also preserve all doctor notes, prescriptions, or any official forms or paperwork you have related to the malpractice.

Find a Reliable Surgery Error Attorney in NYC

If there isn’t any progress in the resolution of your case, consider seeking legal help. Professional and experienced medical malpractice lawyers are well-equipped to fight for the rights of victims who suffer from surgical errors and will ensure that negligent doctors are held accountable for their mistakes.

Medical malpractice lawyers in New York City are well-versed in the applicable laws and can take the necessary steps to build your case. They will also guide you through filing a lawsuit against negligent medical providers and ensure you get fair compensation for your suffering.

Build and File Your Medical Malpractice Claim

Once you hire a reliable New York surgical error attorney, you can start building your medical malpractice claims. You and your lawyer can conduct an independent investigation into what happened.

The lawyer will assess your medical records and interview the involved medical professionals to determine if the errors occurred due to negligence. Once you have solid facts to support your claim, your party can file a formal complaint against the negligent doctor or the entire medical institution.

Initiate a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against the Provider

Medical malpractice cases rarely resolve outside of court and often require a trial. Your lawyer can help you initiate a surgical error lawsuit against the negligent provider and demand compensation for your suffering before the court.

Undergoing a lawsuit differs from filing a complaint and requires extensive knowledge of the applicable laws. A reliable and experienced lawyer can help represent your rights in court and ensure that your case will be given the justice it deserves.

Contact The Pagan Law Firm

It’s undeniable that brain surgeries are complicated and dangerous. The intricacies of this medical procedure require the utmost attention and precision from the involved medical teams. Because of its inherent complexities, negligent errors can occur.

No one wants to experience such a traumatic event. But accidents can happen, regardless of whether they’re caused by negligence or other factors.

Because of this, medical professionals must maintain high standards of care and medical institutions must implement a more functional and practical system to prevent medical malpractice from happening.

If you or a loved one has been affected by surgical errors, the experienced and professional NYC surgical error attorneys at The Pagan Law Firm can help. Our team of experts will provide dedicated legal services to ensure that your case is given the justice it deserves.

With over three decades of industry expertise and countless legal battles against negligent medical professionals and institutions, we have successfully helped change the lives of numerous victims through competent legal advice, an empathetic approach, and aggressive representation.

If you’re ready to do the same for your case, don’t hesitate to contact us today and schedule a free consultation. We’ll be happy to discuss your case and help you find the best solution.

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