Medical mistakes and surgical errors are, unfortunately, a common problem. According to a 2016 study, more than 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are due to medical errors. Most surgical errors are entirely preventable. If a surgeon adheres to the appropriate duty of care and does not act negligently, these errors should not occur.
Common Surgical Errors
Surgical errors can leave permanent and damaging effects on a patient. Errors can occur at any time during the surgical process. Common surgical errors include:
- Foreign materials left in the body. If an operating room is chaotic and people aren’t properly performing their jobs, foreign objects such as gauze, clamps, and scalpels can be left inside the body. This can lead to infection and substantial pain for a patient.
- Incorrect surgery. It is possible for surgeons to perform the incorrect operation on the incorrect patient. Patient mix-ups can result from miscommunication or simply an error in scheduling.
- Wrong side surgery.If a surgeon fails to pay attention to detail, surgery may be performed on the wrong side of a patient’s body. Although the Joint Commission has published guidelines for the prevention of wrong site surgeries, these “never events” still occur
- Punctured organs.A surgeon who is negligent and not paying attention during surgery can inadvertently puncture a healthy organ, leading to serious injury.
- Nerve injuries.These can also occur as a result of a surgeon who is sloppy and fails to pay adequate attention when performing surgery.
- Anesthesia errors.Administering too little or too much anesthesia medication can be harmful to a patient. Anesthesiologists must also be extremely careful to monitor a patient for distress during surgery.
How Surgical Errors Happen
It’s hard to believe that in the age of modern medicine, surgical errors still occur at such a high rate. Most surgical errors happen as the result of:
- Poor communication between the surgeon and the surgical team
- Taking shortcuts
- Failure to plan for challenges or problems
- Surgeon fatigue
- Carelessness and neglect by the surgeon or the surgical team
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured as the result of a surgical error, you should have an experienced and trusted attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured by medical malpractice. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.