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What are Surgical Errors?

When we go to a doctor for a serious medical procedure, we put our trust in their hands in hopes of getting the treatment we need effectively. In many cases, this requires surgery to help heal an injury or alleviate a condition.

What happens, though, when something goes wrong during the surgery and the patient is harmed? Unfortunately, there are a number of mistakes that can occur and as a result, a surgical error can cause serious injury to the patient.

Here are some of the most common surgical errors that can occur.

Surgery On the Wrong Body Part

If there is a system error that gets information on a patient incorrect, or if the staff is misdiagnosing an injury, it could lead to the doctor performing surgery on the wrong part of the body. For instance, surgery may be needed on the right knee, but misinformation leads to surgery on the left knee.

These types of errors are often the result of communication errors or misdiagnosis.

Surgery On the Wrong Patient

Every patient who enters a hospital has a chart with medical records that explain what’s wrong and what the recommended treatment is. If this information is switched or mixed up, it could lead to one patient receiving the wrong treatment. This could mean surgery being performed on an individual who doesn’t need the procedure.

Items Left In the Patient

When surgery is over, the doctor stitches up the patient and it’s time for recovery. There are so many tools and a large amount of gauze used during the surgery, that it could be easy to lose track of items. In some cases, items may be left in the patient post-surgery which could lead to infection and serious harm.

Anesthesia Errors

In order to perform surgery, patients must be put under anesthesia so they don’t feel the pain. On the patient’s medical chart should be information regarding any negative reactions with anesthesia. If this information is ignored, it could cause allergic reactions or other problems resulting from the anesthesia use.

At Levine and Wiss, our New York medical malpractice attorneys recognize the issues involved in surgical errors. We work to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. Doctors are supposed to protect their patients. When they don’t, we’re here to fight the wrongs.

Call us today to learn more.