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7 potential surgical errors

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

Surgery is supposed to help, not harm – but surgical mistakes are distressingly common in hospitals today, and they can be devastating.

Typically, surgical errors can be avoided with proper care. There are many unique kinds of surgical errors patients may experience, but here are the most common:

1. Incompetence

A very simple form of surgical error occurs when a surgeon lacks the experience, skill and knowledge to perform the surgery correctly. This could result in you suffering injuries that wouldn’t have otherwise occurred with a more competent surgeon.

2. Improper planning

Surgeries are delicate processes that require a lot of planning. Surgeons may need to review, revise and prepare for anything once surgery begins, which would allow them to avoid any complications that could occur. Without planning, there could be major medical issues that aren’t correctly resolved.

3. Improper surgical steps

Everyone is prone to skipping a few steps when following instructions, however, this could be a matter of life and death when a surgeon considers skipping key steps. 

4. Poor communication

Communication is very important when performing surgery. Weak communication can lead to surgeons performing on the wrong side of the body, for example, or giving a patient the wrong dosage of medication. The result can be catastrophic.

5. Fatigue

Many medical professionals – surgeons included – work extensive hours, often causing fatigue. Fatigue can cause surgeons and anesthesiologists and nurses to make more mistakes in comparison to well-rested people. 

6. Drug or alcohol use

Being in any kind of medical field can be stressful, especially for a surgeon whose job is to oversee critical operations. As a result, surgeons may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their stress. Drugs and alcohol can affect the performance of a surgeon, which could result in fatal mistakes.

7. Neglect

There are times when surgeons are simply neglectful. This could result in surgeons losing tools inside a patient or using contaminated tools that lead to infecting a patient.

A surgical mistake can lead to serious medical complications. Victims need to know whether a surgical error was the result of medical malpractice. Experienced legal guidance can help them find out.