How Do Surgical Errors Happen? April 2, 2020.

How Do Surgical Errors Happen?

Going under the knife, even for the most minor procedures, can be terrifying. Patients don’t expect things to go wrong at the hands of their doctor, but the fact is that surgical errors happen at least 4,000 times a year in the U.S.

These mistakes are known as "never events" by researchers because they are the type of blunders that never should have happened. This negligence can lead to a lifetime of pain and disability. But what, exactly, causes these grave mistakes in the operating room?

Below, our medical malpractice attorneys answer that question.

Most Common Surgical Errors

  • Foreign objects left in the patient’s body. This occurs when surgeons leave behind scalpel blades, gauze pads, or other medical devices inside their patients. It can cause extreme discomfort and lead to severe infections.

  • Wrong patient surgery. If there is a lack of communication or preoperative verification, it could lead to a mix up of patients. This can cause patients to receive surgery they were not admitted for, which results in serious consequences.

  • Wrong side surgery. Another mix up that often occurs during surgeries is when doctors perform on the wrong side of the body. This could happen with amputations or organ removal, which can be traumatizing for patients.

  • Anesthesia mistakes. Some of the deadliest surgical errors involve anesthesia. The wrong amount of anesthesia can cause the patient to wake up during the procedure, resulting in a tremendous amount of pain.

  • Nerve damage. If doctors are not careful, they could give patients a new health problem while attempting to repair the one they were admitted for. Even the tiniest slip of the scalpel can cause nerve damage and additional pain.

Simple things like checklists, preoperative verification, and paying close attention can reduce surgical errors and their ramifications.

At the The Mellino Law Firm LLC, our attorneys have helped victims of medical malpractice hold healthcare professionals liable for their negligence for almost 40 years.

Contact The Mellino Law Firm LLC today at (440) 333-3800 to schedule a free consultation.