Surgical errors are unfortunately not uncommon in the United States. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), surgical errors occur in about one in every 112,000 surgeries. This may not seem like a high number, but when you consider the fact that there are approximately 50 million surgeries performed in the US each year, it becomes clear that surgical errors are a significant issue.
There are many different types of surgical errors that can occur. Some common examples include:
Wrong site surgery: This occurs when a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body or on the wrong patient. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including inadequate patient identification procedures, miscommunication among healthcare professionals, and inadequate pre-surgical planning.
Anesthetic errors: Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering and managing anesthesia during surgery. If an anesthesiologist makes a mistake, it can lead to serious injury or death. Common anesthetic errors include administering too much or too little anesthesia, failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs, and failing to properly ventilate the patient.
Surgical instrument or sponge left in the patient: It’s not uncommon for surgeons to use a variety of instruments during a surgery. If an instrument or sponge is left inside the patient’s body after the surgery is completed, it can lead to serious complications, including infection and organ damage.
Unintended puncture or laceration: Surgeons are trained to make precise incisions, but mistakes can still happen. If a surgeon unintentionally punctures or lacerates an organ or blood vessel, it can lead to serious complications.
Operating on the wrong patient: While it may seem hard to believe, operating on the wrong patient does happen. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including inadequate patient identification procedures, miscommunication among healthcare professionals, and similar patient names or characteristics.
Surgical errors can have serious consequences for patients. In some cases, they can lead to serious injury or death. In other cases, they can lead to longer hospital stays, additional surgeries, and increased medical costs.
There are a few steps that patients can take to help reduce the risk of surgical errors. These include:
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a surgical error, it’s important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options and assist you in pursuing a claim for damages. For more information about how Honolulu surgical errors attorney Jed Kurzban can help you, contact our office online or call us at 866-377-3676.