When surgical mistakes happen, both injured parties and medical professionals often find themselves wondering how they could have occurred. How does a doctor with so much training and education make a potentially fatal mistake when it matters most?
It's terrifying to undergo surgery for a serious illness. It's even more terrifying to think of the possibility that your surgical procedure could leave you in worse shape than you were before because of a surgical error. However, surgical errors happen on a regular basis throughout the United States. Here are three common types of surgical errors that patients should be aware of in this regard:
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.
Surgical centers are becoming more common across the United States. These are centers not located inside a hospital but instead on their own. The centers are prepared to work with patients' needs, but they're not there for traumatic emergencies.
One question that has been coming up more frequently as time goes on is whether or not doctors and hospitals should apologize for making medical errors. People are raised to apologize when they do something wrong. It's called taking responsibility.
A wrong-site surgery is one of the worst mistakes that can be made in medicine. With this error, a patient goes through the struggle of a surgery to end up having no relief from the problem and a new problem created.
One common myth about surgeries is that they have a high risk of spreading cancer to other parts of the body. The reality is that the risk is not high, but there is still a risk if the proper protocols are not followed. By following standard procedures during a surgery, the surgeon can prevent the cells from spreading after the surgery to remove tumors or take a biopsy.
One of the things medical providers should be doing each time they work with a patient is inputting information into patient charts and using checklists to make sure they have covered every part of a treatment or conversation.
Carelessness is a serious risk in any surgical or medical setting, but what about talking to patients about another provider's carelessness? It's not always a good idea for medical professionals to speak ill of one another, but for a patient looking to make a case, this can be a massive help.
When surgeons leave items behind inside patients, there is a high risk that patients can get ill or even die. Sponges and surgical tools can't be left behind; doctors have to take steps to avoid this and protect their patients. Sadly, that doesn't always happen.