Surgery errors are all too common in U.S. hospitals. Many victims of surgical errors may not know what options are available after a mistake happens.Hospitals are supposed to keep their patients safe at all times. This includes preventing surgical errors from happening that can cause additional illnesses and even death in surgical patients.Patients should understand the risks of their surgery before the procedure and hospitals are required to discuss the risks of surgery so patients can make an informed decision and understand the procedure better.In addition to the understanding the risks associated with the surgical procedure a patient will be having, patients and their families should also be aware of the most common surgical errors and the legal action that can be taken if a mistake happens.
The five most common types of errors that happen during surgery are:
Retained objects. Roughly 4,000 patients have a surgical tools left in their body after surgery every year. In many of these cases, a retained surgical sponge is left inside the patient. Clamps, scalpels and scissors may are also more commonly left inside patients.
Falls. Many surgical patients reportedly fall off the surgical table if they are not properly secured. This can lead to significant injuries, especially if a patient is already in an unstable condition.
Medication errors occur at many hospitals. Surgical patients who receive the wrong medication or the wrong dose can suffer serious side effects that can impact the ability to recover from surgery.
Infections. All hospital patients face the risk of infection but surgery patients face a higher risk because they are more susceptible to an infection during and after their surgical procedure.
Wrong-site surgery or wrong surgery on patient. These types of surgical errors are more common and can obviously be very dangerous for the patient. If the patient has the wrong organ removed, they will have to undergo another risky surgical procedure. If a patient receives the wrong type of surgery entirely, this can have devastating consequences.
The most common types of surgery errors can be prevented. Patients who have been victims of a surgical error should consult a medical malpractice attorney to discuss their specific case and see who can be held liable for their suffering.
Source: FindLaw, “5 Ways Surgery Errors Can Lead to Lawsuits,” Andrew Lu, Dec. 17, 2012