4 common types of surgical errors
Surgical errors are one of the leading causes of death for patients in the United States. Medical errors are a serious public health problem and pose a substantial threat to patient safety.
An “active error” occurs when a physician does something incorrectly in the operating room, thus creating a surgical mistake.
1. Surgery on the wrong body part
The physician may misdiagnose his or her patient which could lead to that individual receiving unnecessary treatment on the wrong body part. The doctor may order a surgery when the patient does not suffer from a health issue that needs operated on.
2. Damaging nerves
If the surgeon damages a nerve during the operation, the patient may have serious, lasting damage. Symptoms of nerve damage vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. The patient may experience adverse chronic pain throughout his or her body, numbness in the affected area or a burning sensation in the body part.
3. Leaving an item in the body
If the doctor fails to remove all surgical items from inside the patient before closing the incision, the individual may suffer long-term health issues. A surgeon might leave sponges, pins, gauze, scissors, clamps or other equipment inside the body.
4. Surgery on a different patient
A totally different patient might undergo an unnecessary procedure if medical professionals miscommunicate or misdiagnose the ailment. An incorrect, unnecessary surgery will leave the victim with lasting psychological and physical impacts.
These errors should never happen, but if they do, affected individuals can explore their legal options.