Surgical Errors: What Can Go Wrong In The Operating Room | Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Operations can be dangerous – even simple procedures. But in some cases, a patient can be injured or killed on the operating table because of negligence – preventable mistakes made by the doctors and nurses performing the procedure or defective medical devices used during the surgery.

What are the most common types of surgical errors?

•    Wrong side surgery. Many people are shocked to find out that wrong side surgeries happen dozens of times a year across the country. Just months ago, a patient had the wrong kidney removed while the diseased one was left behind. Last year, a man had the wrong leg amputated.
•    Wrong patient surgery. Miscommunication between health professionals, a lack of hospital policies, or the lack of preoperative verification can all lead to wrong patient surgery. This is an extremely dangerous surgery mix-up that can lead to the loss of healthy organs, and complications arising from not getting the correct surgery.
•    Anesthesia errors. Some of the most serious and most fatal surgery errors involve the anesthesiologist. If too little anesthesia is given, a patient could wake up during surgery and suffer terrible pain. If a patient is given too much, he could face lack of oxygen, brain damage, and even death.
•    Foreign objects left in body. In far too many cases, surgeons leave behind gauze, clamps, pads, and even scalpels in patients’ bodies. This can lead to serious infections, terrible pain, and death. This all too common surgical error can usually be prevented with the use of a simple materials checklist.
•    Nerve damage. During the surgery your doctor may fix your health problem – but he could also give you new health problems, such as a punctured organ or damaged nerves. These issues can cause lifetime disabilities, pain, and infection.
James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller