Study finds that half of all surgeries involve an error

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

The study was conducted by researchers from the anesthesiology department at Massachusetts General Hospital. The researchers reviewed 277 procedures and found that nearly half resulted in either a medication error or a patient suffered an unintended drug side effect. What is interesting is that these rates are significantly higher than earlier studies. The authors contend that those prior studies utilized data that was self-reported from clinicians rather than direct observation, like their research methodology.

Hospitals continue to make great strides to improve patient safety from simple checklists to electronic systems that warn doctors of potential medication errors. But those advances have not done much reduce injuries at the intersection of medicines and surgery.

The simple issue is that drugs delivered during operations do not undergo the same checks that other prescriptions undergo. Part of this problem is because actions taken in the operating room happen rapidly. Doctors and nurses must act quickly to save patients which can result in medication errors.

But take note that while there was a high error rate, none of the errors led to patient deaths and only three errors were considered life-threatening.

A lawsuit is not the natural inclination for many people, which is understandable. Lawsuits are expensive and can take years to resolve. But if you were injured due to negligent operating room staff then you may want to consider speaking with a lawyer. You may require additional surgeries or treatment to recover from the harm caused by the mistake. A valid claim for medical malpractice and personal injury could ensure that you receive just compensation for your injuries. You shouldn’t have to pay those expenses because it wasn’t your fault.

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