Everyone makes mistakes. But when the mistake is during surgery, it can have serious or deadly consequences.
Surgical errors are more common than you might think. It doesn’t matter if your surgery is minor and uncomplicated, the reality is that surgical errors happen all too often.
5 Common Surgical Errors
Here are 5 of the most common surgical errors:
Foreign objects left in patient
Although this is not as common as other errors, objects left in the body after surgery is a serious medical mistake that can cause severe pain and infection. A recent study in the American Journal of the American College of Surgeons estimates that foreign objects are left in the body in one of every 5,500-7000 surgeries. Sponges are the most common object left in patients.
Operating on the wrong patient or wrong site
Poor hospital protocol and miscommunication among staff and surgeons are among the factors that can lead to a surgeon operating on the wrong site or even on the wrong patient. The World Health Organization estimates that in the US, wrong-site and wrong-patient surgeries happen in one in every 50,000-100,000 surgeries.
When a mistake is made by the anesthetist and too much anesthesia is given, a lack of oxygen to the brain can cause brain damage and even death. Statistics indicate that 1 in every 200,000 to 300,000 patients die due to anesthesia errors.
Nerve damage and punctured organs
A surgeon’s hand only needs to make one small slip to hit a vital nerve or an organ. If a nerve is hit, the patient may have irreversible nerve damage resulting in chronic pain. A punctured organ is serious but can usually be repaired if caught.
Even if the surgeon does everything right, an unsterilized surgical instrument or a wound that isn’t cleaned correctly may cause an infection. According to John Hopkins Medicine: “Doctors call these infections surgical site infections (SSIs) because they occur on the part of the body where the surgery took place. If you have surgery, the chances of developing an SSI are about 1% to 3%.”
Is your pain or disability the result of a surgeon’s error? Then contact the compassionate and experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Gilreath & Associates for a free consultation today.