The thought of surgery is a cause of great concern for many people. Worse, is the realization that surgical errors occur every day. When an error causes harm to the patient, medical malpractice has occurred. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the five most common types of preventable surgical errors and the urgent need to contact a skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney if you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a surgical error.
Error #1: foreign object left behind in patient following surgery
The most common type of preventable surgical error is when a surgeon, nurse, or other support staff leaves a foreign object behind in the patient following the conclusion of a surgery, such as a surgical sponge. “Left behind,” means left inside the patient, who is sewn up at the conclusion of the surgery. A left-behind sponge can cause serious infections. Shockingly, some left-behind sponges are never even discovered!
Error #2: wrong procedure performed on patient
The second most common type of preventable surgical error is when the wrong procedure is performed on the patient. Obviously, this scenario is a nightmare, capable of causing new injuries while allowing an existing condition to linger untreated.
Error #3: wrong site on patient
The third most common type of preventable surgical error is when the surgery is performed on the wrong site on the patient. As with a wrong procedure surgical error, this is a nightmare scenario. In other words, the correct surgery is performed in the wrong place on the patient. For example, a surgery that was to be performed on the right arm is instead performed on the left arm.
Error #4: wrong patient
The fourth most common type of preventable surgical error is when the correct surgical procedure is performed on the wrong patient. Obviously, this error constitutes grave and extreme medical malpractice.
Error #5: lack of informed consent
While still among the top five examples, a less common type of surgical error is surgery performed absent the patient’s informed consent. In other words, the patient never agreed to undergo the surgery that was performed.
Have You Been the Victim of a Surgical Error?
Make no mistake, doctors train very hard to enter their professions and strive to meet the high *professional standards to which they are held. However, when medical malpractice occurs, responsibility must be taken. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a surgical error, contact a *skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Medical malpractice law, like the medical procedures it concerns, is highly complex. A skilled attorney will work diligently to get to the facts of what went wrong during your surgery, and hold those responsible for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.