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Surgical errors lead to severe consequences for patients

Mistakes made by surgeons, doctors and other medical professionals can lead to severe injuries and death for their patients.

Surgical errors happen frequently in operating rooms in Ohio and throughout the rest of the country. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, events that should never occur during surgical operations, or "never events," happen approximately 4,000 times every year in the U.S. This type of medical malpractice can be committed by surgeons, nurses, doctors and other healthcare providers.

Examples of surgical errors

There are many different types of surgical errors that can take place during an operation. These include the following:

  • The surgery is performed on the wrong part of the patient's body or on the wrong patient altogether.
  • A surgeon leaves a surgical tool, such as a sponge, towel or retractor, in the body of the patient at the conclusion of their operation.
  • Unsanitary surgical tools are used during the operation.
  • The surgeon punctures a patient's artery, organ or another type of bodily tissue and causes significant bleeding.
  • The surgery takes too long and leaves the patient in a precarious state of health for an extended period of time.

Surgical errors often occur when the surgeons or staff are inattentive, fatigued, careless, reckless or fail to plan for the surgery properly.

The impact on patients

When a surgeon or medical professional commits a surgical error, the patient may suffer from severe consequences. For example, after going in for a routine procedure to relieve the symptoms of a back injury, a woman died the day after her operation due to a mistake made by the surgeon performing her operation and the pharmacy at the hospital, states The Boston Globe. During the course of the woman's operation, the neurosurgeon requested a particular type of dye to look at the location of tubing that had been threaded into the woman's spine. However, the pharmacy did not have the needed dye and provided a different type instead.

At the conclusion of the surgery, the woman woke up and suffered from seizures and severe pain. After investigating into the situation, the woman's caregivers discovered that a dye was used that had a clear label on it warning against its use in the spine. Although the surgeon was at fault for administering this dye during the surgery, the woman's family received a letter in the mail months after from the hospital's malpractice insurer stating that the surgeons and pharmacists were not at fault for the mistake.

Mistakes made in operating rooms can result in permanent and temporary injuries and in some cases, death. If you are the victim of a surgical error, consult with an attorney who can ensure your rights to fair and proper compensation are protected.

Keywords: medical malpractice, surgical error