What are the common causes of surgical errors?
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
Humans make mistakes every day. Unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes are made by doctors and their staff while performing surgery on a patient. Although not every mistake made while in the care of a doctor leads to a medical malpractice case, surgical errors may be the exception as most surgical errors have either major consequences or lead to severe pain and complications.
It is suggested that more medical deaths occur annually than deaths due to breast cancer or car accidents. While many of these errors are diagnostic or medication based, a significant number of doctor errors occur while a patient is under anesthesia and in surgery.
Many patients fear surgery because of the possibility of having something left inside of them or having the wrong operation done. While these two types of errors are not extremely common, there are numerous other errors that surgeons can make while operating.
Surgical errors can happen because of staff miscommunication, fatigue, inexperience or negligence. Most surgeries require an extensive staff, and the potential for something to go wrong and for even one person to make a mistake is increased exponentially. Something as simple as being handed the wrong instrument or misunderstanding directions can have disastrous consequences in the operating room. More so than almost any other field, surgery requires the utmost attention to detail, skill and accountability. When any of these aspects go unattended for even a second, an error of catastrophic measure can be made.
Regardless of the source of error, surgical error injuries can produce significant pain, infection or even the need for surgical revision and follow-up. Many times, patients that have suffered these injuries are unaware of their significance until they receive a second opinion or speak to an attorney. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help patients that have suffered surgical errors receive the compensation they need to recover and recoup.