Whether they are seeking medical intervention for necessary or cosmetic purposes, surgery patients expect their operations to go well. Though some surgeries are successful, others do result in harm or otherwise fail to result in favorable outcomes.
According to SCS (Safety-Centered Solutions Inc.) research data, surgical errors are the most frequent adverse event in hospital settings. Furthermore, they account for nearly one-third of costs stemming from medical errors generally. These are just four of the common types of surgical errors that patients face in the U.S.
Operating on the wrong patient
Some surgeons perform a surgical procedure on an individual other than the intended patient. This situation is usually the result of mistaken identity or record mix-ups.
Leaving operating tools inside a patient
It’s normal for surgeons to use tools, like clamps, to hold back or close bodily materials together temporarily. However, surgical tools are dangerous when they are accidentally left inside a patient’s body permanently. Foreign objects inside someone’s body can cause health issues like obstructions, infections and extreme pain.
A surgeon can unintentionally puncture a patient’s tissue while operating on them. Wounded nerves and organs can lead to worse problems like extreme pain — or worse — a lifelong disability.
Operating on the wrong body part
Suppose that an individual needs to have their right arm amputated because it was damaged in an accident. But, a surgeon mistakenly amputates the patient’s left arm. Now, the patient has to deal with the pain and devastation of losing a healthy arm while possessing a damaged one that still needs to be removed.
These and other types of surgical errors are usually the results of fatigue, lack of communication and carelessness. Hospitals can remedy such issues by ensuring that surgeons get needed rest and that they follow detailed protocols designed to minimize the likelihood of surgical errors.
With that said, even hospitals with the strongest procedures in place still witness the occurrence of surgical errors from time to time. Have you or a loved one had an operation that went awry and now want justice? Consider seeking legal guidance for information about pursuing surgical malpractice litigation. By learning about your options, you’ll be placed in a better position to make informed decisions.