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What Are the Most Common Types of Surgical Errors?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

arlington heights medical malpractice attorneysPatients who undergo surgical procedures expect medical professionals to follow the proper procedures and take all necessary steps to protect their health and safety. Surgeons must receive extensive education and training to ensure that they can perform procedures correctly, and all medical personnel who are involved in surgery are required to follow standardized practices to protect against infections or other issues that could harm a patient. Unfortunately, surgical errors sometimes occur, and patients who are injured because of medical malpractice may be able to receive financial compensation that will address the ways they have been affected by the negligence of medical professionals.

Forms of Negligence That Can Lead to Surgical Errors and Patient Injuries

Medical malpractice involves any situations where doctors, surgeons, hospital personnel, or other medical providers deviate from the accepted standard of care and cause patients to suffer harm. Since surgical procedures can be invasive, patients may be seriously injured due to malpractice. Many of the most common surgical errors involve procedures that are performed incorrectly. These issues may include:

  • Wrong side errors - A surgical procedure may be performed on the wrong side of the body. Examples of these errors include orthopedic surgery performed on the wrong knee or the removal of the wrong ovary. These errors may occur if personnel do not properly prepare for surgery and mark the side of the body where a procedure should be performed. 

  • Wrong site errors - Failure to properly prepare for surgery may result in a procedure being performed on the incorrect part of the body. For example, a spinal surgery may be performed at the wrong level of the spine, resulting in damage to healthy tissue without correcting the issues the patient had originally experienced.

  • Wrong procedure errors - Lack of communication between personnel involved in a surgical procedure may result in the wrong type of procedure being performed. For example, if a surgeon is not properly prepped for a procedure to address breast cancer, they may perform a mastectomy rather than the removal of a lump from the breast.

  • Wrong patient errors - Clerical errors can sometimes result in a surgeon performing a procedure on one patient that should have been performed on someone else. This can occur if patient records are switched or if personnel become confused because multiple patients have similar names.

There are a variety of other issues that may affect patients who undergo surgery. A person may contract a serious infection because the proper sterilization procedures were not followed during surgery. A surgeon may perform a procedure incorrectly and fail to correct the issues affecting a patient, or they may accidentally injure a person by damaging blood vessels, severing nerves, or cutting into the intestines. Patients may also suffer harm if foreign objects are left inside their body during a procedure. 

Contact Our Schaumburg Surgical Error Lawyers

If you or a member of your family have suffered harm due to surgical errors, Newland & Newland, LLP can help you determine your legal options. We will work to gather evidence showing that you were injured because of medical negligence, and we will help you pursue compensation for the damages you have suffered as a result. Contact our Palatine medical malpractice attorneys at 847-797-8000 to arrange your free consultation.

Sources:

https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primer/wrong-site-wrong-procedure-and-wrong-patient-surgery

https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/surgery-second-most-common-reason-for-medical-malpractice-claims-report-says

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20121220/thousands-mistakes-surgery

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