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3 most common surgical errors you should know about

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

In modern medicine, surgical procedures have advanced significantly, saving countless lives and improving the quality of life for many. However, surgical errors remain a concern despite medical science and technology advancements. 

These errors can lead to complications, prolonged recovery and, in some cases, even fatalities. Knowing the most common surgical errors can ensure you make informed decisions about your healthcare.

Wrong-site surgery

Wrong-site surgery, also known as “never events,” is a medical error where a surgeon operates on the wrong part of a patient’s body. This egregious mistake can lead to severe complications and long-lasting trauma for the patient.

These errors typically occur due to a breakdown in communication or a lack of proper verification procedures in the operating room. Surgeons and their teams are expected to follow a strict protocol, including marking the surgical site and confirming patient identity, to help prevent such errors. However, in some cases, lapses in communication and verification can lead to dire consequences.

Postoperative infections

Postoperative infections are among the most common complications following surgical procedures. These infections can occur in various forms, including: 

  • Surgical site infections 
  • Respiratory infections 
  • Urinary tract infections

Several factors can contribute to postoperative infections. These include poor sterilization procedures, unclean surgical instruments and inadequate hygiene practices in the operating room. 

Anesthesia errors

Anesthesia plays a vital role in surgical procedures by helping ensure patients are pain-free and unconscious during the operation. However, anesthesia errors can lead to severe complications.

For instance, administering an excessive amount of anesthesia can result in respiratory issues and even brain damage. Conversely, insufficient anesthesia can cause patients to wake up during surgery, experiencing excruciating pain.

Suppose you’re a victim of a surgical error; you should know that you can potentially hold your healthcare provider accountable for medical malpractice.