Top Five Most Common Surgical Errors

By August 10, 2016 Medical Malpractice

Serving Victims of Surgical Errors in the St. Louis Area

When a patient consents to surgery, he or she trust the surgeon as well as the surgical staff to keep him or her safe. While most surgeries performed in the United States are done so without any errors, there are still a staggering number of surgical procedures that go wrong – and these errors are almost always preventable. As a patient, you trust in the physicians who treats you. But, even the best surgeon – including “world class” surgeons – make mistakes. From medication errors during surgeries or procedures to postoperative infections, it is important to know what the most common errors committed during surgeries are – so that you can possibly protect yourself if you ever are in need of surgery.

What are the Most Common Errors During Surgery?

  1. Operating on the wrong site. You would assume that if you had an operation scheduled for a particular side of your body, the surgeons performing that surgery would know that. But, all it takes is a miscommunication or the wrong indication on a chart for a surgeon to operate on the wrong side of your body. This could include amputating the wrong limb, removing a healthy kidney instead of a diseased kidney, etc. Unfortunately, this error can leave a person permanently disfigured, or even lead to death.  Because of all the safeguards against this happening this is always the result of negligence.
  1. Anesthesia errors or complications. In order to perform surgery, a surgeon needs his or her patient calm and often unconscious. In order to do that, anesthesia is required. Most of the time, there are no complications with anesthesia. And, if there are, there are instances where these complications were unforeseeable (meaning no one could have predicted the issue would occur). But, there are plenty of instances where anesthesia injuries happen – and they are preventable. This can include too much or too little anesthetic, not properly monitoring the patient’s oxygen levels, or using anesthesia that the patient is allergic to.
  1. Objects left in the patient. From pads to gauze to actual tools used in surgery, there are numerous instances in the United States where patients develop postoperative complications and even infections due to the items left inside their body cavity.  This is also something that does not  happen without negligence.
  1. Surgery on the wrong patient. This is when surgeons mix up patient charts and perform the wrong surgery on the wrong patient. This could lead to serious complications, injury, or even death. For example, a patient may have an appendix removed, even though he or she was in for minor cosmetic surgery.
  2. Postoperative infections. Some infections cannot be prevented, but if an infection occurs due to improper sanitization or improper monitoring of the patient, then the hospital and/or the surgeon who performed the surgery could be liable for the infection that the patient develops. In some cases, these infections are antibiotic resistant – in other words, they cannot be treated with traditional antibiotics. The patient could then suffer serious injury or death as a result.

Have You Suffered from a Preventable Medical Injury?

Whether it was in surgery, missed diagnosis, or another form of error, if you were injured by a physician due to their negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe Attorneys at Law today. We offer free consultations, and you can reach us toll free now at 877-678-3400 or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.