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Surgical Errors Archives

Surgical errors that shouldn't happen, happen frequently

San Diego residents go to their doctors and surgeons expecting the best care. Even though they understand the risks associated with various procedures as explained to them by the medical professional dealing with them and sign the waivers presented to them, they might not be informed about specific types of surgical errors that take place. Termed 'never events', they are 100 percent preventable surgical errors because they are surgical mistakes that should have never happened in the first place. However, more than 4,000 of them happen in surgery every year and cost the country more than 1.3 billion in medical malpractice lawsuits.

How common are surgical errors?

Among patients undergoing surgery in the United States, approximately 80 times a week a surgical error occurs. Safety advocates note that the surgical errors should never happen. Surgical errors can include when surgical instruments, including sponges, are left behind in a patient during surgery; the wrong surgical procedure is performed; the wrong site on the patient is operated on; or the surgery is performed on the wrong patient altogether.

California man asserts he was injured during surgery

Victims harmed during surgery have legal protections available to them. A California man recently filed a lawsuit alleging he was injured during surgery. The victim asserts in his lawsuit that, during surgery, his esophagus was perforated. The victim brought his lawsuit against the Veterans' Affairs hospital, a doctor and others asserting medical negligence. In the lawsuit, the victim asserts that the surgery was unprofessionally performed and that the injury he suffered was not discovered for two weeks. The victim is seeking general damages, medical expenses and other damages in his lawsuit.

Surgical errors are a serious concern for victims

Greater than 4,000 surgical errors occur each year that could be prevented. The costs of the surgical errors is $1.3 billion in medical malpractice claims. The surgical errors are considered preventable because, according to researchers, they should never take place. They include mistakes such as performing the wrong procedures or leaving a sponge inside the patient's body after the surgery is completed.

Patient files lawsuit after discovering probe left inside body

Surgical procedures are supposed to rectify what ails patients, not cause additional problems. Unfortunately for one California woman, however, the gynecological surgery she obtained at a California surgery center left her with pain, bleeding and the frightening discovery that surgeons left surgical equipment inside her body following the procedure.

Common causes of wrong-site surgeries identified

A wrong-site surgery is a massive mistake. Such a surgery occurs when a California surgeon operates on an incorrect body part, the wrong patient or performs the wrong procedure. In a study of wrong-site surgeries conducted by The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare Project, major factors that contribute to these colossal mistakes were identified. There are numerous causes and mistakes that occur at all stages of an operation, but the study organized the causes they identified into four main perioperative areas, including scheduling, pre-op/holding, operating room and organizational culture.

Protecting the rights of patients following a surgical error

Surgical errors have been described as never events. As a previous post discussed, this is when an event that should have never occurred did occur. While patients in San Diego put trust and reliance in surgeons and their medical teams, the truth is that everyone working in a surgical room is prone to human errors. Such a condition presents the possibility of surgical mistakes and potential harms to the patient.

"Never event" surgical errors harm patients

A California patient who needs surgery has likely explored other medical avenues of recovery and decided on surgery as the best option. Unfortunately, though surgical procedures offer the chance for better patient health, they also present the very real possibility of surgical errors.

Study says some hospitals lack policy for certain surgical errors

For patients who go to the hospital for a surgical procedure, there is an inherent trust that goes into allowing doctors and operating room staff to perform it. It is a tragic reality, though, that there are occasionally mistakes made, whether it is wrong-site surgery, surgical equipment left inside a patient, or some other form of a surgeon mistake. Research is undertaken to see how and why these surgical errors happen, as well as to determine how facilities deal with it. One study in particular found that one hospital out of five in the U.S. has failed to adopt a protocol to deal with what are known as "never events."

Attorney counsels clients after major surgical errors

There are many ways that a Californian might be injured in a surgery. The potential injuries and risk will depend on the type of surgery a patient is undergoing, of course. For example, a common risk during gallbladder surgery is the risk of bile duct injuries, as this blog reported in a previous post.