Many people erroneously believe that surgical mistakes only occur during complicated procedures, such as spine, heart or brain operations. The truth, however, is that the most common operations report the majority of surgical errors.
Surgical errors have the potential to cause long-term disabilities, serious medical complications or even death. According to WebMD, each year brings approximately 4,000 new cases of mistakes during surgery, and medical malpractice payouts cost more than $1.3 billion.
If the medical professional you trusted has caused grievous harm to you or a loved one, then you may be entitled to compensation. If the incident happened in Florida, then a medical malpractice attorney from the Law Offices of Needle and Ellenberg, P.A. may be able to help. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 305-290-1736.
In the meantime, read on to learn about five common surgical mistakes:
1 Leaving Foreign Objects in Patients’ Bodies
This is more common than most people assume. Objects such as gauze, pads, clamps and scalpels can cause immense pain, chronic infections and fatalities. Surgeons often leave these objects inside patients because they do not complete a materials checklist, which is standard surgical procedure.
2. Treating the Wrong Patient
A variety of factors can cause surgeons to operate on the wrong patient, including poor hospital protocols, lack of communication among surgeons, and failure to verify the patient prior to surgery. This type of surgical mistake can even lead to removing healthy organs, which results in life-threatening complications. Additionally, patients do not receive the surgery they so desperately need.
3. Treating the Wrong Side of the Body
While it may seem difficult to believe, surgery on the wrong side of the patient happens frequently across the United States. Examples include removing a healthy kidney and leaving the diseased one behind, or amputating the wrong leg or arm and leaving the patient with only the maimed limb. These mistakes are devastating and cause severe health complications and permanent disfigurement.
4. Making Anesthesia Mistakes
Anesthesia mistakes are among the deadliest forms of medical malpractice. If a patient receives too much anesthetic, it will interfere with his or her oxygen intake. Often, this causes brain damage or death. Alternatively, receiving too little anesthetic increases the risk of waking during surgery and suffering inhumane pain.
5. Causing Nerve Damage
While a surgeon is fixing one health issue, he or she may give you a more serious problem entirely. A tiny cut in the wrong place from a scalpel can cause a variety of debilitating conditions – from punctured lungs to damaged nerves. These types of mistakes frequently cause a lifetime of chronic pain, infection and disability.
Simple routines, such as completing redundant patient verification and checklists, have helped reduce the number of surgical mistakes in the United States. However, physician negligence is still a major problem that leaves victims with life-changing consequences.
If you have suffered a surgical error in Florida, then the Law Offices of Needle and Ellenberg, P.A. may be able to help. Call us today at 305-290-1736 to schedule a consultation.