When a patient goes into the hospital for surgery, they’re placing their life in a medical team’s hands. They expect that the medical provider will know what they’re doing and be prepared for any emergencies or complications during the surgery. They trust that the surgeon won’t make errors that could put them in harm’s way.
Unfortunately, surgical errors happen often. Some types of surgical errors that may occur include:
- Nerve damage from positioning issues
- Anesthesia errors
- Wrong-patient surgeries
- Wrong-site surgeries
- Wrong-procedure surgeries
- Retained foreign objects
Each of these errors is known as a never event. Never events are aptly named because they should not happen in any quality medical facility when the medical team is paying attention and working in accordance with the medical standards expected within the field.
Did you know wrong-patient surgeries are among the most common errors?
You would think that it would be nearly impossible to perform the wrong surgery on the wrong patient, yet it still happens. The cause could be that two patients have similar names, or the surgeries’ times could have been switched. Still, each person who comes into contact with the patient should be asking their name and birthdate, so they can verify the right patient is present. Then, prior to a procedure, the surgeon should come to speak with the patient and verify which surgery is being performed with them.
Taking extra time to build up lines of communication may help save lives. Surgical errors are dangerous, but when communication is improved and patients are more active in their care, they are far less likely to happen.