Preventable medical mistakes can happen at any time and with any type of treatment. One setting that has a high risk and rate of errors is surgical operations — with at least 4,000 surgical errors seen yearly in the United States.
There are a myriad of possible reasons behind surgical errors. However, many are commonly caused by the following five reasons that lead to possible medical malpractice cases.
1. Lack of Communication among the Surgical Team
Whether it’s a total lack of communication or a miscommunication, these types of problems are a common cause of surgical mistakes. Communication issues can occur verbally, such as mishearing directions in person or over the phone, or through written form, like due to poor or illegible handwriting.
2. Poorly Marked Incisions
Poorly marked incisions can result from communication issues. In turn, these can cause accidental incisions on the wrong parts of the body. A wrong incision may require additional incisions, longer surgery time, and harder recovery for the patient. In worst cases, the surgeon may complete the wrong type of surgical procedure or operate on the wrong body site.
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3. Unsanitary Conditions in the Operating Room
Surgical operations are required to be performed under strict sanitation conditions. Negligence is a large contributor to poor patient safety and recovery, as well as overall success of the procedure.
Conducting surgeries under unsanitary conditions exposes the patient to a greater risk of infection, cross-contamination, and other adverse events, including death.
4. Fatigue among the Surgical Team
Not all surgeries are completed within the span of an hour or two. Moreover, hospitals don’t always have a full staff of surgeons on site. As a result, fatigue and overwork is a common problem surgeon’s face.
The lack of sufficient rest — not only for the lead surgeon but also the rest of the team — compromises overall safety during the surgery. It can result in mistakes, miscommunication, and mistakes in judgment.
5. Use of Defective or Outdated Equipment
Surgical errors can be caused by defective or outdated equipment. Instrument defects may be due to factory issues, inadequate manufacturer inspection, or natural wearing out due to constant or prolonged use. Surgical equipment that’s in poor condition can potentially cause injuries or infections that may risk the lives of patients.
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The Consequences of Surgical Errors
Injuries due to surgical errors can result in lifelong difficulties for your or your loved ones. Aside from the physical consequences, it also takes its toll emotionally, mentally, socially, and financially. At worst, surgical errors may lead to death on the operating table, causing greater trauma to loved ones left behind.
Most cases and reasons behind surgical errors are acceptable grounds for medical malpractice — particularly if you or your loved ones were harmed by the event. Consulting a medical malpractice lawyer can help ensure you receive just compensation for the damages.
Seeking Help for Cases of Medical Malpractice
If you suspect you may have been a victim of medical malpractice caused by surgical mistakes, it is best to reach out to a lawyer specializing in such cases.
Contact Gallon, Takacs, and Boissoneault today. Our attorneys have extensive experience with medical malpractice cases and have a deep understanding of common surgical procedures and complications.
Call us at 419-843-6663 or leave a message on our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert lawyers.
Jonathan Ashton, Partner and Personal Injury Attorney, began his law career at GT&B in 2007 as a law clerk. He was hired as an associate immediately after passing the Ohio Bar in 2008. Jonathan practices in Personal Injury, representing clients who have been injured and need justice and compensation for them to move forward in their lives.