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What Triggers Surgical Errors That Lead to Catastrophic Injuries? 

Posted on in Personal Injury Attorney

Arlington Heights, IL medical malpractice lawyerMedical errors are a serious public health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States. At least 4,000 surgical mistakes occur each year in the United States, causing catastrophic harm to patients. The Joint Commission, which drives quality improvement and patient safety, acknowledges that surgical errors are preventable. If a surgical error caused you serious harm, you may be entitled to compensation.

What Triggers Surgical Mistakes?

The impact of surgical errors can range from life-altering injuries to loss of life. Surgical mistakes seem to be more common before and after the actual surgery rather than errors made in the operating room. However, there are some errors that occur frequently. Some of the causes of surgical errors include the following:

  • Inadequate surgeon training and education

  • Absence of standardized rules and regulations

  • Communication gaps

  • Use of unreliable systems or protocols

  • Rush to complete cases

Unfortunately, surgeons do sometimes operate on the wrong body part. This could be minimized by more careful record keeping or if patients and family members are allowed to point out a potential error or miscommunication before it occurs.

Common Surgical Errors

All surgeries carry the risk of human error. Medical malpractice or professional negligence only takes place when the care provided does not conform with the prevailing standard of care in that area of practice. If a reasonably qualified surgeon of similar age, training, and experience would have been likely to make the same mistake, the error is not usually considered malpractice. If a surgeon, for example, with similar training and experience, avoided the mistake, the error could be seen as negligence. Regardless, here is a list of some surgical errors that could possible be examples of medical malpractice:

  • Operating on a wrong body part

  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient due to hospital miscommunication

  • Surgical items such as clamps left inside the patient

  • Excessive damage to nerves or scarring

  • Anesthesia errors

A surgeon could also be negligent if he or she does not explain the risks associated with the surgery. 

Contact an Arlington Heights Medical Malpractice Lawyer

At Newland & Newland, LLP, we have more than 60 years of combined experience. For information about recovering damages for injuries you suffered as a result of a surgical procedure, call 847-797-8000 for a free consultation. You need a Rolling Meadows medical malpractice attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499956/

https://www.jointcommission.org/-/media/tjc/documents/resources/patient-safety-topics/sentinel-event/most-frequently-reviewed-event-types-2020.pdf

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