The Most Common Surgical Errors
You probably think that surgical errors are more likely to occur during complex operations, such as brain, heart, or spinal cord surgery. However, errors often occur in the most frequently performed operations. Even after the main part of the surgery has been performed, medical negligence and error can happen in an instant. Surgical errors can have disastrous and lifelong problems for the patient. Medical negligence and surgical error can be a devastating time for the victim and his or her entire family – it’s best to have an experienced Philadelphia surgical error lawyer on your side to assure you receive the compensation you deserve.
A good example of a surgical error is perforation of the bowel during a routine colonoscopy or removal of a polyp. When this happens, bacteria from the bowel infiltrates the abdominal cavity. This might cause sepsis and peritonitis, which infects internal organs such as the lungs, kidneys or liver. If the sepsis isn’t quickly halted, it can cause wrongful death.
Surgical errors can even occur during an ordinary surgery such as tubal ligation or a hysterectomy if the procedure is performed improperly. When the bladder or colon are accidentally lacerated, excessive bleeding may result, which can cause blood clots in the legs if they do not receive enough blood after the surgery. Those clots can migrate to the lungs, which can lead to pulmonary embolism and death.
Surgery to relieve sinus pressure is performed every day. However, if the muscles that control eye movement are accidentally cut, the patient may experience chronic double vision and lose the ability to drive, read or work.
Not all surgical errors involve errant cutting of an unintended muscle or membrane. Some of the mistakes made by surgeons are careless acts caused by confusion or forgetfulness. They are always preventable if the physician had been paying attention. Sometimes, the mistake is the result of defective medical devices or tools.
The following examples are among the most common surgical errors:
- Foreign objects left in the patient’s body. Far too frequently, surgeons leave scalpels, pads, gauze or clamps in the bodies of their patients, which causes extreme pain, severe infections or even death. A standard materials checklist could stop this.
- Wrong patient surgery. Various factors can cause this surgical error, including a lack of preoperative verification, miscommunication between surgeons and poor hospital protocol. This mix-up can lead to the removal of healthy organs and other problems when patients don’t get the surgery for which they were admitted.
- Wrong side surgery. As hard as it is to believe, wrong side surgeries occur many times every year all over the United States. Not long ago, a patient had a healthy kidney removed while the diseased kidney was left in her body. A man recently had the wrong leg amputated.
- Anesthesia mistakes. Anesthesia errors are the most serious and most frequent deadly surgical errors. If too much anesthesia is administered, the patient can get too little oxygen, which can cause brain damage and death. If an insufficient amount of anesthesia is given, the patient might awaken during the operation and experience tremendous pain.
- Nerve damage. While your surgeon is merrily repairing your current health problem, he could also be giving you another more serious condition. A tiny slip of the scalpel can cause anything from a punctured lung to a damaged nerve, which can lead to a lifetime of infection, pain, and disability.
Contact Rosenbaum & Associates Today for Legal Assistance
Anybody can make a mistake on the job, but surgeons and other health caregivers must be held to a higher standard. Simple things like checklists, redundant verification of procedures and paying closer attention to the matter at hand – can lead to a reduction in common surgical errors. If you or a loved one have been injured at the hands of a medical professional, contact a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney at Rosenbaum & Associates for a free case evaluation. We have over fifty years of experience in dealing with medical malpractice cases and will dedicate our time to assure you receive compensation for your pain, suffering, and loss of income.