As Virginia medical malpractice lawyers, we know that surgery is supposed to improve our health – and every day thousands of Americans put their lives in the hands of their surgeons to fix their ailments, conditions, and chronic health problems. However, not all surgeries are successful, and a significant number of surgeries actually harm the patient. In some cases, surgical errors lead to permanent injury, chronic pain, or even death.
How Do Surgical Errors Happen?
There are many reasons, ranging from defective medical devices to negligent doctors to careless anesthesiologists. In some cases, surgeons could be overworked, sleep-deprived, or in a rush to finish the job. In other cases, there may be a breach in communication, a mix-up, or a failure to understand the surgery itself. In still other cases, surgeons or other medical professionals may simply be inexperienced, undertrained, or otherwise unprepared for the job.
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Surgical errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice, but are you familiar with the most common types of surgical errors?
- Infections. Especially after a surgery takes place, it is vital that your doctor recognize and properly treat infection. During the surgery, it is equally important that the surgery takes place in a clean and controlled operating room that prevents infections.
- Anesthesia errors. If a patient’s vital signs are not properly monitored, the patient could suffer brain damage or death.
- Wrong operation. Failures in communication can result in the wrong operation taking place altogether, or the wrong body part receiving the operation.
- Leaving behind tools. Shockingly, it is somewhat common for patients to find surgical tools in their body in the weeks, months, and years after surgery. Patients have discovered clamps, sponges, and even scalpels in their bodies after surgery.
- Organ puncture. A slip of the knife could lead to terrible surgical complications and health problems.
- Bad surgical technique. Simply performing the surgery badly is considered a surgical error. This could be the result of fatigue, poor training, or an inattentive doctor.