The purpose of this page is to define surgical malpractice and to set it in the wider context of medical malpractice.
If an individual is having problems with a hip implant, one of the possible root causes is that there may have been a mistake made before, during or after surgery by one of the healthcare professionals involved.
People often search online for a range of general terms related to medical malpractice, including: surgical malpractice and, quite commonly, hip replacement malpractice.
There is potential for confusion, so occurred to me that it may be helpful to provide a little structure and context on the relationships between these different terms - hence this page.
The diagram below illustrates the relative relationships between different categories and levels of medical malpractice.
Surgical malpractice is simply one sub-category of the wider classification: medical malpractice. In turn, hip replacement malpractice is simply one specific example of surgical malpractice.
Click on the Diagram (above) to view a larger version; then Click on the 'Close' button or the dark area around the expanded image to return to the original page. Check out the Key to the diagram for definitions / explanations of the symbols & colours used (n.b. the Key opens in a new browser window).
Surgical malpractice occurs where the standard of care that a patient receives from healthcare professionals (before, during or after his hip replacement surgery) falls short of the standard of care he could reasonably expect to receive.
Examples of malpractice during surgery include:
There are other risks that can arise from hip replacement and are related to malpractice (medical / surgical), such as infection due to a failure in hospital hygiene. For example:
These are examples of corporate negligence where potentially the hospital (organisation) is at fault, rather than individual healthcare professionals.
In law, medical malpractice (or any lower level sub-classification, such as mistakes made during surgery) is classified as a tort of negligence.
In order for an alleged case of surgical malpractice to be proven, the plaintiff must prove each of the following four component parts:
Note, the same logical order approach to proving a case will apply to any other example of medical malpractice.