6 Surgical Errors to Know Before a Procedure

Two Doctors Checking Work on Patient to Avoid Surgical Errors

No matter the severity of a surgical procedure, an unexpected medical error can happen to anyone. In the United States alone, at least 4,000 surgical errors occur each year. As one of the most common medical malpractice cases, our attorneys understand the pain and confusion you or your loved one may be going through after a surgery gone wrong. If you or a loved one was harmed during a surgical procedure, you may be entitled to compensation if you experienced one or more of the following surgical errors.

1.  Wrong Site Surgery.

Surgical errors in the wrong location happen more often than you may think. According to the National Library of Medicine, wrong site surgeries occur 40 times per week on average in U.S. hospitals and clinics. This particular surgical error is typically the result of communication errors, such as mismarking an incision location, or an act of negligence, such as failing to consult an MRI scan for location confirmation.

These errors in surgery can immensely impact a patient’s quality of life, both physically and mentally. Doctors must exercise proper protocols to ensure they operate in the correct area.

2. Leaving Behind a Surgical Instrument or Another Foreign Body. 

Surgery requires the use of many different surgical instruments to conduct each procedure properly. However, leaving one of these instruments or another surgical aid, such as gloves or sponges, inside of a patient is a serious issue. This may happen if an operating room is disorganized, if a doctor is rushing to move on to another procedure, or another circumstance where proper protocols are not followed.

As one of the most common surgical errors, experienced surgical error attorneys know these scenarios are also easily preventable. Doctors and their surgical support teams should make sure all instruments used are properly removed and cleaned following use. If they do not, it often requires another surgery and additional recovery time.

3. Anesthesia Surgical Errors.

The dosage of anesthesia required for surgery is a delicate business. Your anesthesiologist, surgeon and care team must take proper measurements prior to surgery to ensure you will stay asleep during the procedure and wake up afterward.

Too much anesthesia may result in lack of oxygen, brain damage, stroke, or even wrongful death. On the other hand, too little anesthesia may result in patients waking up while the procedure is still in progress — leaving behind serious pain and even psychological trauma.

4. Nerve or Organ Damage.  

While we are all human and have the capacity to make mistakes, an unnecessary injury during surgery is not a mistake you expect to happen. When nerves or organs are damaged at the hand of a surgical knife, it is often due to a doctor or surgical staff’s negligence.

These careless surgical errors result in serious injuries such as a punctured organ, loss of movement, nerve pain and other injuries. It is imperative that doctors maintain a steady hand and focus on the task at hand rather than rushing or failing to pay attention to the intricacies of the body.

5. Postoperative Care Negligence

Diligent care following a surgical procedure is just as important as the care you receive while in the operating room. Postoperative care is the treatment and care a patient receives after a surgery has been completed. Many cases for this type of medical negligence include a doctor’s failure to follow up, monitor, diagnose or practice the standard of care.

While these errors do not happen during surgery, they are an essential portion of surgical care. They have the ability to produce life-long physical and psychological issues, if doctors do not handle the care properly.

6. Performing the Wrong Procedure. 

Sometimes, medical records can be misplaced, causing an incorrect surgery being performed on the wrong patient. Administrative mistakes, miscommunication, scheduling errors and even lack of consent from a loved one can be catastrophic. Patients who receive the wrong surgery may have serious complications from healthy organs being removed or have devastating complications from someone else getting the surgery they desperately needed.

If you or a loved one had an incorrect procedure performed and it led to a long recovery or even wrongful death, a surgical error attorney will be able to help you assess the situation and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

Suing for Surgical Errors with Zevan Davidson Roman 

As trusted surgical error attorneys in Missouri and Illinois, we know that every surgery is not without its risks. But, you should be able to place your life in the hands of a trained professional to get the care you need. When those mistakes are life-altering, it can be shocking and attribute to years of recovery for you and your family.

At ZDR, we will work through your surgical errors case to help you collect relevant evidence and expert testimony to fight for your recovery. Whether you need us for a case or as co-counsel, contact us today for a free consultation.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zevan Murphy today.

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