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Surgical errors: A serious problem in the U.S.

On behalf of John Smith

Surgical errors and other forms of medical malpractice can have devastating results to victims of medical malpractice.

Surgical errors: A serious problem in the U.S.

A number of people in Springboro and across Ohio put their lives in the hands of trusted surgical professionals every day. Whether undergoing major surgery or having a minor procedure performed, patients rely on surgeons to provide state-of-the-art medical care. Unfortunately, not all patients are released from their surgical procedures with good results. Surgical errors that occur in U.S. operating rooms are more common than some people may think. In some cases, patients may not be aware that a mistake was made during the procedure until they are hit with a massive infection.

The facts

Researchers from John Hopkins University found that surgical mistakes happen at least 80 times each week in operating rooms across the country, according to American Medical News. A third of these mistakes resulted in permanent injury to the patient. Countless more errors go unreported, as they are either undetected or swept under the rug. Surgical errors, otherwise referred to as never events, are rare. Yet, the outcomes of these preventable mistakes can have devastating life-changing consequences for unsuspecting patients.

How do surgical errors occur?

There are several ways that a surgeon or other operating room staff can make a mistake during a surgical procedure. These include the following:

  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Leaving an object behind in a patient's surgical site
  • Performing a procedure on the wrong patient
  • Failing to use the proper surgical techniques when performing a procedure

Miscommunication that takes place before surgery or within the often chaotic operating room can lead to errors as well. For example, failure to communicate with a patient prior to a procedure increases the risk of error. When doctors consult with patients, they can often verify what procedure is to be performed, what body part is being operated on, patient allergies and any other details that should be discussed.

Retained surgical items

USA Today reported that surgeons leave foreign objects inside patients up to 6,000 times each year. The most common are surgical sponges, which can be difficult to find once they become soaked with blood and adhere to the side of the inner organs. When left behind, these sponges can cause major infections, which could have devastating results. Patients may even require amputation in cases of severe infection.

Finding a medical malpractice attorney

If you have become the victim of a surgical error or some other form of medical negligence, you may not know where to turn. You may be left with long-term injuries that could make it difficult for you to return to work or live a normal life. A medical malpractice attorney in Ohio may be helpful in listening to the details of your case and exploring your legal options.