Common Surgical Errors
Each year, thousands of people die because of surgical errors, and many more are injured. Surgery always carries with it risks, especially when patients are older. However, according to researchers, errors in the operating room cause more than 4,000 preventable deaths. Below are some of the most common mistakes made.
You might go under the knife to have a lump removed from your left breast only to have the surgeon take a portion of your right breast. Or you might go into surgery to have a heart valve repaired only to have the doctor operate on the wrong valve.
These are wrong-site surgical errors, and they are surprisingly common. Wrong-site errors usually stem from communication problems or because the surgeon is rushed in the operating room. Regardless of the reason, patients need a second surgery to properly correct the problem and may need other treatment to fix the damage caused by the negligent surgeon.
Objects Left Behind
While sewing you up, the surgical staff might not have properly removed all implements that were inserted, such as sponges. Other objects left behind include scalpels, clamps, and gauze. Foreign objects left behind have become such a problem that surgical sponges now come with electronic monitoring so that staff can find out if one was left inside you.
Before undergoing surgery, you will need general anesthesia to be knocked out. Anesthesia errors can include:
- Administering too much anesthesia
- Administering too little anesthesia
- Failing to identify complications
- Not properly monitoring the patient’s vital signs during surgery
- Not properly checking that the patient emerges from anesthesia properly
As a result of these errors, some patients either die or (perhaps just as bad) regain consciousness during the surgery. These errors are avoidable. Careful anesthesiologists should properly analyze your medical history to determine how much anesthesia to give, and staff should deliver it properly. When someone has been insufficiently careful, errors can result.
Organ and Nerve Damage
Any slip of the knife can puncture organs and lead to bleeding and tissue damage. Increasingly, surgeons rely on robots for routine surgeries to minimize the number of errors they make. Nevertheless, robots can’t do everything, particularly more complex surgeries. When the doctor damages a nerve, the patient can suffer chronic pain.
Doctors and nurses must adequately scrub before entering the operating room. Unfortunately, hospitals are rife with infections, and patients might contract a nasty bug during or immediately after surgery. Hospital infections tend to be more dangerous than those you would pick up at work or school, and aggressive antibiotics are often required as treatment to keep the infection from spreading.
Injured in the Operating Room? We Can Help
Surgery often results in pain and inconvenience. However, when your doctor contributes to your injuries, you might have a cause of action. At Bundza & Rodriguez in Daytona Beach, we have helped many patients and grieving family members receive the compensation they deserve. To schedule your free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney, please call or send us an online message.