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What are some potentially dangerous complications of surgery?

Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in America. There are dozens of things that can go wrong. Here are just a few that you should look out for after you go through a surgery. If you're impacted by these events, it's important to speak up and look into your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

The first thing to know is that certain events, called never events, sometimes happen due to neglect or errors. In one out of every 1,000 to 1,500 intra-abdominal surgeries, a medical tool or supply is left inside a patient. Why does this happen? Sometimes it's difficult to find items after they're in the body. This is particularly true of surgical sponges, which soak up blood and are camouflaged. The staff should count the number going in and out of your body, but mistakes are still made.

In around 20 percent of cases, patients who have a surgical instrument left behind in their bodies suffer a permanent injury. In 20 percent of those cases, the patients die from the injuries they suffer. Some potential complications include sepsis, blood clots, infections and punctures.

Another issue that affects some patients is the exposure to surgical smoke. Around 95 percent of all surgeries use the tools that product this smoke. The smoke is created when the high-heat electrical tools cut into the skin and cauterize it to prevent bleeding. This smoke contains many chemicals and is like smoking 30 unfiltered cigarettes a day. It contains carcinogens and poses a risk to patients and the operating room staff.

These are just a few of many possible issues you may come across as a patient. Any time you have a concern, speak up. It's your right.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Here Are Some Scary Things That Can Happen To You In A Hospital," Ann Brenoff, March 06, 2017

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