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Malpractice; can an excessive delay in a major surgery be considered a legal and actionable issue

Wildwood, NJ |

A specialist was needed. For a surgery that was needed and important. It was put on delay due to emergency surgeries with other patients among other previous delays. The patient who's surgery was delayed passed away before the surgery was to take place. The death was a result of the issue that needed the attention for the surgery.

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Attorney answers 8


If the person that was having the surgery was in need of it immediately and the delay could be found beyond what the standard of care required then there may be an action against the doctors and the hospital. The medical records must be reviewed. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible to see if there is a case.

DISCLAIMER: Matthew Solomon is licensed to practice law in both the State of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey.This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. This answer does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


Delayed treatment of a life-threatening condition can certainly be grounds for malpractice, particularly is the patient passed away unnecessarily. How old was the patient and what was his or her underlying condition? Did the delay occur in an emergency room setting? The immediate family members of the patient should pursue this immediately by contacting an experience medical malpractice and wrongful death attorney who can walk them through the steps necessary to obtain the patient's medical records and have them reviewed by qualified medical experts.


The short answer, is yes, and that you should contact an attorney to investigate.

The attorney will help investigate, through the use of experts, whether the decision to delay the surgery was outside the expected standard of care applicable to the surgeon, and whether that delay was a substantial factor in increasing the risk of harm, in this case, the death.

Each case is fact sensitive, so all answers should be viewed as general advice only, and should never replace a thorough and in depth consultation with an experienced attorney. Further, an answer should not be seen as establishing an attorney-client relationship.


A delay in treatment or failure to refer can be the basis for a medical malpractice action. Many factors go into determining whether the delay is actionable. This is definitely a case that should be reviewed by an attorney.

This information is for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. The information provided does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. This information should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed, professional attorney in your state.


A few facts would be helpful, but it is possible. A local Wildwood malpractice lawyer can order the records to investigate. Use Avvo's "find a lawyer" tool to locate a local Wildwood malpractice lawyer.


Yes - delayed treatment can absolutely give rise to a claim for medical negligence. The facts provided indicate this as a claim that should be evaluated by an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area. It is important that the medical records from the date of the incident are provided to an attorney for review, and you will likely need the individual's medical records prior to the date of the incident. Also, and most importantly, claims of this nature have filing deadlines should you wish to proceed with an action - so do not delay seeking an evaluation. Good luck.


If the person that was having the surgery was in an emergency situation, and the delay could violate what is called legally "the standard of care" then there could be an action against the doctors and the hospital.

This is a very complex area of law and this case MUST be screened by an attorney. All medical records must be reviewed. You should contact an attorney ASAP as you may have a Statute of Limitations problem.

Do NOT rely on this answer as the information provided here is not legal advice nor is it a substitute for legal advice which requires a consultation with a lawyer. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I have certainly handled cases were the delay in performing a surgery was actionable. However, this determination is made on a case by case basis. A skilled medical malpractice attorney would perform a detailed review of all of the medical records and would likely involve an expert physician to determine whether or not the delay in performing the surgery was a departure from accepted standards of care. Contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

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