How Common Are Surgical Errors?

How Common Are Surgical Errors?

Many of us have successfully undergone surgical procedures and, in general, we tend to expect that our trust is well placed in healthcare professionals. However, the fact is that surgical mistakes are not as much of a rarity as you might think and not everyone leaves the operating room better off than before. How common are these egregious mistakes? Well, to put it into perspective, only heart disease and cancer kill more people in the country than medical errors. Every year, surgical errors kill nearly 7% of patients and permanently injures about a third of them. 

How Does This Happen?

Any kind of negligent behavior can result in surgical errors, but researchers have revealed that four categories tend to be the most common reasons:

  • Preconditions for action: Sloppy hand-offs, distractions, stressed out or exhausted personnel, poor communication, and even overly confident staff can often lead to surgical errors in the operating room.
  • Unsafe actions: This includes disregarding rules and proper protocol as well as acting before thinking.
  • Oversight: Staffing shortages, poor supervision, and planning problems can all lead to oversight, which can ultimately cause surgical errors.
  • Organizational influences: This tends to be symptomatic of a toxic culture or ineffective operational practices.

Some of the most common surgical errors that occur include:

  • Foreign objects left in a patient’s body
  • The wrong surgery was performed on the wrong patient
  • The right surgical procedure was performed on the wrong side of the patient
  • Anesthesia mix-ups or errors
  • Nerve damage

Additionally, statistics also suggest that surgeons who make these mistakes are typically not first-time offenders. About two-thirds of surgeons who committed these errors have already been implicated in multiple medical malpractice events and, according to a study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), roughly 1% of doctors were responsible for 32% of all malpractice claims over the past decade.

Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you sustained injuries after being surgically operated on, you can pursue a medical malpractice claim to recover just compensation. At David C. Rash, P.A., we have 25 years of experience in handling medical malpractice claims and have developed a sophisticated knowledge of medical malpractice injuries, which we will use to your advantage.

Contact our office today at (957) 914-7116 to schedule your free case review.


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