Surgical error in Oregon and elsewhere can be a difficult area of medical practice on which to base a malpractice claim. Although some cases will be easy to prove, such as when a surgeon amputates the wrong body part by mistake, other allegations of surgical error will be debatable and difficult to evaluate. Some outcomes that may have the outward appearance of surgical error can instead be the product of an unpredictable medical process that has nothing to do with negligence.

A male patient recently sued a doctor for alleged malpractice in connection with a nasal and sinus cavity operation. The lawsuit alleges that the surgeon left numerous bone chips in his sinus cavity, nasal passages and areas in and around his head, neck and face. It alleges that the surgeon used a chisel to chip the bone away, but then apparently did not irrigate and clean the debris properly.

The plaintiff alleges "intense and unrelenting" pain, along with fever and an unusual discharge,  from the surgery immediate afterwards and for a long time thereafter. The complaint alleges that the doctor's only response was that the symptoms would resolve on their own. The symptoms did not resolve, and the plaintiff had to go to the emergency room of a hospital. He was admitted and stayed for about one week.

Another surgical team had to go in and remove the bone fragments and close the wound left by defendant doctor, according to the complaint. The plaintiff seeks various damages resulting from the surgical error. The complaint alleges that the plaintiff lost his job as a truck driver and is generally unemployable, for which he claims damages for lost earnings and earning capacity. He also claims damages for pain, emotional suffering and loss of life's pleasures for the remainder of his life. All of these are common elements of damages in a malpractice suit in Oregon. 

Source:, "Former Alton doctor faces malpractice suit", Sanford Schmidt, Jan. 24, 2015