Although surgeries are commonplace in the United States, they don’t always go as anticipated. Have you ever thought about the risk when you go into hospital for surgery? The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) highlights annual statistics in their report. These statistics include the number of people affected by a medical professional’s negligence. They are:
- 40,000 hospital patients suffer harm that could have been prevented.
- 100,000 people die due to medical errors.
- 4000 people suffer surgical errors.
What is a surgical error?
As the name suggests, a surgical error is an error made by a medical professional during surgery. Not all surgery can go perfectly all the time. Sometimes, surgeries result in complications, which occur for reasons outside the surgeon’s control, such as when a body rejects a replacement organ. In contrast, surgical errors are considered to be within the surgeon’s control — when they happen, it is because someone made a mistake.
6 common surgical errors
While a wide range of surgical errors can occur, some are more frequent than others. These are some examples of surgical errors that can occur:
- Wrong side of the body
- Wrong part of the body
- Wrong patient
- Wrong dosage of anesthesia
- Leaving an object inside the body
- Damaging a nerve
Anyone of these can worsen your medical condition and way of life after a procedure with the goal of improving it.
7 common causes of surgical errors
Additionally, some cause of surgical errors occur more often than others, including:
- The surgeon lacking the necessary and appropriate training or education
- Communication issues between the surgery staff
- Poor communication between surgeon and patient
- Reliance on inadequate protocols or systems
- Rushing through a procedure
- The absence of regulatory factors
- Human factors such as tiredness, being hungover or not concentrating
When you place your trust in a surgeon, you have a right to receive the quality of service and care expected of their profession. If you or a family member suffer from a surgical error, seek legal help to see if you have a medical malpractice case, and if so, how to proceed.