When Oregon residents are told that they need surgery, they most likely understand that every procedure comes with certain risks. Patients may weigh the risks and determine that the medical necessity of the procedure is worth it. However, surgical errors should not be considered one of the risks.
Oregon surgeons may consider some surgical procedures to be routine, but in reality, no two procedures are alike. Some of the risks assumed by patients are related to the operation itself, but others involve the potential for surgical errors. A seemingly routine operation can quickly deteriorate into catastrophic injuries for the patient if a surgeon makes a mistake.
Oregon parents are sometimes forced to trust strangers with the health and safety of their children. There seems to be an inherent amount of trust for doctors, surgeons and other medical personnel, and when that trust is violated by surgical errors, it can be devastating. A father in another state went through this on Christmas in 2013.
In a true medical emergency in which surgery is required, an Oregon resident may not have the time or opportunity to choose a surgeon. Most surgeons are diligent, meet all applicable standards of care and perform successful procedures. However, surgeons and their teams are human and mistakes can occur. When surgical errors happen, patients can be left with the need for additional medical care -- including surgery -- or can even be left with permanent injuries.
Imagine that after a trip to the doctor's office, you are informed that you need to have a serious surgical procedure performed on you. You are understandably nervous, but you don't actually expect anything bad to happen during the surgery. On the day of your procedure, you go through all the pre-op steps -- and then finally, you are given anesthesia and you are out like a light.
There's this idea that is seemingly drilled into our heads that doctors, surgeons and nurses are these noble and flawless people who will do anything to make sure the patient receives the best care. They refuse to let a patient down, and these medical professionals will go the extra mile to ensure everything goes according to plan.
Imagine that for most of your young life, you've been healthy. You graduate college and get your dream job, and as the year's pass by everything only gets better and better for you and your family. But then one day, you start to feel sick. "This is odd," you say to yourself. You've never felt this way before, and you check with your doctor to see what's going on.