Featured News 2016 Understanding the Risk of Surgical Errors

Understanding the Risk of Surgical Errors

If you are considering having surgery, you should be aware that there are always risks involved. Are you in good overall health, do you have realistic expectations, and do you understand that there is a risk of surgical errors? Do the rewards of the surgery outweigh the risks involved?

Before you have your surgery, your surgeon is supposed to meet with you and explain all of the potential risks of the procedure; this is known as "informed consent" and unfortunately, too many doctors do it right before the surgery when patients feel it's too late to change their minds.

If you're leaning towards having a surgery performed, one way to minimize the risks is to: 1) select an experienced surgeon, 2) choose a surgeon who is familiar with the facility, and 3) choose a surgeon who performs that particular procedure at the facility regularly.

Common Surgical Problems

When it comes to surgical problems, there is a lot of room for error. From equipment malfunctions, to fatigued doctors, to wrong-site surgery and everything in between, surgical errors can and do happen every day. Here are some common complications that can arise during surgery:

  • Anesthesia errors (e.g. too little or too much)
  • Intubation (breathing tube) errors
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Leaving a surgical instrument behind in the patient
  • Post-operative infections
  • Injury during surgery, for example, another body party getting damaged
  • Paralysis caused by a surgical error

In addition to the above surgical errors and complications, a patient may experience a poor outcome after the surgery, such as unacceptable results, a condition that worsens because of the surgery, and severe scarring.

While many surgeries go very well and improve the quality of the patient's life, unfortunately there are surgeries that do not go as planned and result in serious injuries if not death. The problem is, these surgical errors were preventable.

If you or someone you love was harmed because of a surgery gone wrong, please contact a medical malpractice attorney to file a claim for compensation.

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