While patients depend on their surgeons to create life-changing medical treatment, sometimes they make hazardous mistakes. This should never happen, but in reality, it occurs at a rate of 4,000 known surgical errors each year. Surgical errors are considered to be a form of medical malpractice when the doctor fails to provide adequate healthcare services. Surgical errors can be dangerous for your health and create long-term consequences that can negatively impact your life.
Suppose you experienced some form of surgical error and want to file a medical malpractice claim. In that case, you should get the help of a Pittsburgh surgical error attorney to provide valuable advice. We can find evidence of the surgeon’s mistake and calculate how much you are owed in compensation. To get started, contact Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky for a free consultation.
Surgical Error Statistics
Unfortunately, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the US. According to research, it is estimated that surgical errors occur in one of 112,000 surgical procedures, which happens on average once every five to ten years. About half of these procedures are preventable, according to researchers. One study showed that the majority of surgical errors are caused by foreign objects left behind in the patient’s body, such as sponges or Kocher clamps. In general, medical errors cost the healthcare industry trillions of dollars each year.
What Causes Surgical Errors?
A surgical error is when a surgeon causes a preventable accident that can severely injure the patient during surgery. Typically, you may be required to sign a form which is a type of informed consent to help mitigate the risk of a doctor undertaking liability. However, surgical errors that can be considered medical malpractice go beyond these ordinary risks, resulting in long-term damages. The reason surgical errors occur can be due to many different factors. Some of them include the following:
This is when a surgeon and his team haven’t properly reviewed the procedure and are ill-prepared to undertake the surgery. When they aren’t adequately prepared, this can result in complications. For example, the surgeon might operate on the wrong body part.
Poor Work Process
Every surgeon must have a plan of action before performing surgery with a very elaborate step-by-step procedure. If they think that some steps aren’t needed or try to take shortcuts, this can put your life in danger.
The surgeon may be inexperienced and new to performing the surgery, making them not competent enough to do it properly. They may not have performed it enough times to be able to handle unexpected complications.
Healthcare facilities are very busy and fast-paced, which can often result in a surgeon being fatigued from being on call. A surgeon that is extremely tired after a long shift will be more likely to cause mistakes.
Some doctors might drink on the job or before they begin a surgical procedure. That can cause them to exhibit poor judgment or affect their concentration or motor control.
Little To No Communication
A surgeon must work with their nurses and assistants to help them operate on a patient efficiently. If they fail to communicate and there are misunderstandings in the operation room, this can create dire consequences.
Surgeons may be neglectful, which can result in careless mistakes, for example leaving surgical instruments inside patients or not properly sterilizing equipment.
Most Common Surgical Errors
Surgical errors can be caused in a number of different ways. Here are some of the most common mistakes:
Surgery Performed In the Wrong Area
The surgeon may accidentally perform surgery on the wrong area of the patient’s body. For example, they may accidentally operate on the left leg instead of the right leg, targeting the wrong muscles, nerves, bones, or tissues. This can cause unnecessary expenses and delays in proper treatment.
Some patients receive the wrong surgery altogether, leaving their medical problem unresolved while they recover. This can be life-threatening and costly, resulting in unexpected complications.
The surgeon may accidentally cut, damage, or completely sever nerves, causing nerve damage. This can cause severe and debilitating pain and impact the ability to move certain muscles.
The surgeon or their team may accidentally provide the wrong dosage of anesthesia, which can cause unnecessary pain, loss of oxygen or blood, an extremely low heart rate, or other life-threatening conditions. Mistakes with anesthesia can even result in brain damage and permanent disability.
Surgeons often prescribe medication to help patients cope with the pain or reduce the chance of infection. The surgeon might accidentally prescribe the wrong medication, which can cause harm, contraindicate with other medications, or provide no help at all. There is also the chance that the wrong dosage was provided.
How Can A Pittsburgh, PA Surgical Error Attorney Help You?
A surgical error can be painful, creating long-term consequences that can change your life for the worst. If you are suffering from a personal injury because of your surgeon’s careless mistakes, you should speak with a legal representative experienced in these types of medical malpractice cases. We can review your claim and investigate how your surgical errors occurred. Your medical malpractice attorney will also collect evidence to show how the actions of your surgeon directly caused you harm. You can also get an estimate of how much your surgical error claim is worth. Contact Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky for a free consultation.