Why Do Surgical Errors Occur?
Surgical errors can occur for a variety of reasons, whether due to inadequate preoperative planning, lack of communication or even a technical error.
What are Surgical Errors?
A surgical error can be defined as an injury caused by a mistake made during a surgical procedure, that is not a known risk of the procedure, that could have been avoided through proper training, protocol and execution of the procedure. Surgical procedures can vary greatly in severity, duration and skill level required, but even the most routine procedures can still go wrong if the surgeon in charge makes a mistake. Like surgeries, mistakes can also vary in seriousness. For example, surgical errors can range from operating on the wrong body part, to accidentally puncturing an organ or nerve.
What Causes Surgical Errors to Occur?
Insufficient Skill, Knowledge or Training
If a surgeon lacks the proper skill, knowledge or training required to perform a specific procedure, the chance of a surgical error occurring increases. It’s critical that surgeons know the ins and outs of procedures they perform on patients and have sufficient experience so the chances of errors occurring are minimized.
Improper planning before the surgery takes place can lead to a surgical mistake. Planning includes properly reviewing the patient’s medical history, current condition and other medically necessary information. Proper planning also includes the preparation of necessary equipment and communicating with surgical staff regarding the anticipated procedure.
Failure to properly plan a procedure can lead to the patient suffering a complication for which the medical team was not prepared.
Post Operative Care
Errors by surgeons don’t just happen during surgery. Patients need to be monitored after the operation, also known as the post-operative period, for signs of surgical complications and injuries. The hospital staff and the surgeon need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of injuries and complications that can occur after particular procedures and be able to diagnose and address them promptly before they cause more harm than normally would occur if they were timely diagnosed and addressed. These conditions can include post-operative bleeding, bowel perforations, post-operative infections to name a few.
Performing Under the Influence
While most severe and reckless, some surgeons have been caught performing their duties under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This extreme act of negligence during a procedure, while uncommon, has occurred before and can lead to serious consequences that would be otherwise preventable if the surgeon was sober.
Have you Suffered From Any of These Surgical Errors?
While surgical errors may seem uncommon, they occur on an average of 4000 times a year in the United States. If you or a loved one suffered a preventable medical complication during a surgical procedure you will need a qualified attorney to investigate what took place. To discover if you may be eligible to pursue legal avenues for the medical error you have suffered, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. today. A skilled attorney can offer a free evaluation of your claim to determine if you have a case. Call (212)-732-9000 or contact us today.