Surgical errors are simply mistakes made during an operation, before the operation or after it has been completed. For example, taking the wrong patient to the surgery may be classified as a surgical error. The same could be said if the surgeon operated on the wrong part of the patient. Of course, not recognizing a patient's infection or complications could count as surgical errors once the surgery ends.
Avoiding surgical errors should be at the forefront of every surgeon's mind. Beyond "never events," which are things like operating on the wrong patient or body part, there are other kinds of errors, like miscalculating anesthesia or causing nerve damage due to positioning problems during an operation.
Errors often happen, and although many don't result in permanent or lasting damage, some do. For those patients, the surgery that was supposed to help them hurt them instead.
What causes so many surgical errors to occur?
The primary cause is a lack of communication. Briefing the surgical team before the surgery, being communicative during a surgery and finally debriefing following the surgery can all help prevent errors from happening or going unnoticed.
Surgeons need to be leaders in safety. When they are, they help set up an environment where fewer mistakes happen.
If you have been hurt because of surgical mistakes, you're not alone. Many people deal with this problem each year. Speak to your surgeon to find out what went wrong; if you can't come to an agreement, then your attorney can help you address the problem and get help with your medical needs moving forward.