When stepping into a hospital, a patient expects to be treated by experienced professionals that are diligent in helping them with their ailments. Yet it is not uncommon to leave these facilities in worse shape than a person entered because of the negligent actions of staff or physicians. Every year, roughly 4,000 surgical errors occur that lead to severe consequences and even death. These medical malpractices cost around $1.3 billion dollars every year in lawsuit and damages.
According to the website of Pohl and Berk, surgeons are required discuss common complications of surgery but do not warn patients about risks that a negligent staff could cause. Surgeons refer to surgical errors as “never events.” They are so called because these events should never happen. The years of training and practice that surgeons are required to accumulate are required to eliminate the possibility of these sometimes fatal mistakes occurring. Out of the thousands of surgical errors made annually, 59 percent result in injuries or complications, 33 percent result in permanent injury to the patient, and 6.6 percent result in death.
Common medical malpractice incidents in the operating occur when a surgeon or nursing staff leaves a foreign object within the body cavity, the wrong procedure is performed, or the wrong site was operated upon. Some incidents occur out of negligence by staffs who disregard safety precautions set in place to protect patients from these exact events.
“Time outs” to match medical records are frequently implemented to double or triple check that the correct patient is being operated on. Most operating rooms practice counting sponges and other medical utensils before, during, and after procedures to reduce the rate of foreign objects being left in the body. And generally surgical checklists are in place to keep the doctors and their attending staff accountable for their actions.
The consequences for these surgical errors can be dire, affecting the life of a patient and their family permanently. Consult an attorney in your area if you believe you or a loved one is a victim of a surgical error caused by a negligent surgical staff.