Having to undergo surgery – whether it is a major procedure or even a minor one – can be an overwhelming, even frightening, experience. The goal of surgery is to make a person feel better and healthier than they did before the procedure. But there are many cases where the person suffers an injury or illness as a result of mistakes made by surgical or medical staff. The majority of these errors are preventable.
Because of the complexities and complications in surgical procedures, medical facilities are supposed to have proper protocols and processes in place in order to avoid mistakes. These protocols are supposed to be adhered to diligently by medical personnel, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, and the results can be catastrophic for the patient. All it takes is for one staff member to fail to follow one item on a checklist and the patient is put at serious risk.
Why Do Surgical Errors Occur?
There are several common reasons why surgical errors occur. Miscommunication between medical personnel is one of the most frequent causes. Whether it is miscommunication about medication or miscommunication between members of the surgical team, the result can mean serious harm to the patient.
Operating on the wrong side of a patient’s body is one surgical error whose frequency continues to increase. There should be a specific checklist in place for the surgical team to go through before the procedure begins. Part of that checklist should be confirming and reconfirming that the part of the patient’s body that is marked is the actual part that is supposed be operated on.
Another common surgical error is surgical tools or supplies being left in the patient’s body. Again, with a stringent checklist procedure that accounts for every scalpel, every sponge, and every other surgical device, these surgical errors should not be taking place.
Other surgical errors that can seriously injure or kill patients include anesthesia errors, nerve damage, and even operating on the wrong patient.
Contact a NC Surgical Error Attorney Today
We put our trust in our physicians and surgeons that they will heal us, not harm us. Surgical errors are preventable, and the damage they cause can change a person’s life forever. If you have been injured because of a surgical or medical error, or have lost a loved one due to medical staff mistakes, contact a compassionate North Carolina medical malpractice attorney to discuss what legal options may be available to you.