With the exception of minor outpatient procedures, most surgical operations require advanced scheduling and careful preparation. The reason is that surgeons require multiple support professionals and must schedule their time in an operating facility.
With so many protocols and modern equipment helping to reduce the risk involved, you might assume that surgical mistakes are largely a thing of the past. However, despite advances in technology and improved safety procedures, surgical errors remain a common form of medical malpractice.
How often do surgical errors occur?
There are thousands of procedures performed in facilities around the country every week, and only a tiny fraction of those procedures involve a significant surgical error. However, the rate at which errors occur is much higher than people realize.
According to a thorough review of reported medical errors in the United States, there are at least 4,000 cases of significant surgical errors each year in the country. Researchers found that operating on the wrong body part remains one of the most common and devastating forms of surgical error.
Other common forms of surgical mistakes include performing a procedure on the wrong patient or leaving items behind in someone’s body. Anesthesia mistakes and mechanical issues, like a slip of the hand, can also have significant consequences for the patient.
Additionally, researchers noted that the rise in robotic surgery has resulted in an increase in accidental hemorrhages and damage to nearby tissue. In other words, the very technology that people think will reduce human error can also lead to patient injury during surgery.
What happens after a surgical error?
Surgical errors frequently require hospitalization or revision procedures for the patient affected. Sometimes, surgical errors have deadly consequences. Both individuals hurt by surgical mistakes and those grieving a loved one who died because of a mistake during an operation may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim which may lead to insurance negotiations or a civil lawsuit.
Realizing you have to Advocate on your own behalf after a surgical error could help you secure justice.