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3 Common Surgical Errors You Should Know About

It’s not something that people like to think about, but medical professionals are human and sometimes, they make mistakes. Unfortunately, when the mistakes happen in the operating room, there can be devastating consequences for you or a family member. Here’s three common surgical errors you should know about:

— Surgery performed on the wrong patient. Although hospitals have a series of checks and double-checks, it is still possible for mix ups to occur, and a doctor may perform a surgery on the wrong patient. In some cases, the doctor may actually get the patient part right, but then perform a wrong site surgery. As an example, an individual goes in to have surgery performed on his or her left hip, but the doctor accidentally perform surgery on the right hip instead.

— Foreign object left in patient. Each year an astounding 4,000 patients around the United States have a foreign object left inside them after they have had surgery. These items may include everything from a scalpel to a clamp or even a pair of scissors. Interestingly, the most common item that is left in patients, however, is the surgical sponge.

— Falling off a gurney or operating table. While it is not entirely uncommon for a patient to fall after trying to get themselves up and out of bed in a hospital room, it may surprise you to know that falls sometimes can occur in the operating room as well. This may happen when the surgeon and surgical staff are in the process of moving you on or off the table, while they are performing surgery, or you could even shift on your own unconsciously after surgery while you are in recovery. These types of accidents generally occur when a staff member fails to properly strap a patient in.

Individuals who have been injured or involved in a surgical mishap may have valuable legal rights and could be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Source: FindLaw, “5 Ways Surgery Errors Can Lead to Lawsuits,” Andrew Lu, April. 14, 2015


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