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Common types of surgical errors

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2021 | Malpractice

Statistics show that around 225,00 people die from medical malpractice annually, and some reports say it could be higher. Medical malpractice in Pittsburg means a doctor or medical professional fell below the standard of care. Reports show that many medical errors happen during surgery, and they fall into several categories.

Overview of surgical errors

Surgical errors are often referred to as “never events” or events that should never happen. Many hospitals require patients to sign release forms to acknowledge they know about the risks, but surgical errors extend beyond known risks.

Even if the doctor had no malicious intent, the key factor is whether the mistake could have been avoided. Studies indicate about 4,000 surgical errors occur annually and make up 25% of medical malpractice claims. Surgical errors often occur from fatigue, neglect, incompetence, poor communication, and lack of pre-surgery planning.

Types of surgical malpractice

Some of the most common medical errors involve wrong-site surgery, operating on the wrong side or part of the body. Wrong-site errors may raise the risk of infections and cause the removal of good organs.

Wrong-patient surgery means a patient undergoes a procedure not intended for them at all. This may occur because of a mix-up in patient charts, and it obviously causes unneeded complications and recovery. Sometimes, the surgeon punctures the adjacent organs or tissues or uses instruments that are too large.

A surgeon leaving instruments inside a patient’s body happens in one out of 5,500 surgeries annually. Because sponges often resemble organ tissue, these are the most common tools left inside a patient’s body. Some other instruments that get left inside a patient include scalpels, scissors, needles, and towels.

Not all surgical mistakes count as malpractice, but serious errors can change a patient’s life. If the patient thinks they have a case, an attorney may analyze their circumstances and help them file a claim.