Training to be a medical professional takes several years and the learning never really stops. Being a professional surgeon is one of the most desired career paths for medical students, but it is also one of the more tricky vocations.
Some surgeries are routine while others are more specialized and present a greater risk to the life of a patient. In surgery, the stakes are high and one error or lapse in concentration can be the difference between life and death. Surgeons are highly trained, but at the same time, they are only human. The result of this is that surgeons make errors, and here are some of the more common reasons why:
A breakdown in communication
Generally, patients are not seen by one person from start to finish. A doctor will make initial observations and refer the patient to specialists should that be necessary. Medical teams need to work like a well-oiled machine but unfortunately, this does not always happen. Key messages can be lost in translation, meaning that there is a mix-up with the patient’s records. A breakdown in communication can result in wrong-site surgery or confusion as to the exact procedure that needs to take place.
It takes high levels of concentration to carry out effective surgery. At the same time, hospitals are busy places and they are not always adequately staffed. For the most part, medical staff do the best with what they have and offer the best possible treatment. Unfortunately, things can go wrong and the ability of a surgeon who is overworked and fatigued will be significantly depleted.
As patients, doctors owe a duty of care. This means that they cannot let you down through negligence. If you have been harmed rather than assisted through medical treatment, you should assess your legal options.