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The Common Types of Surgical Errors

The Most Frequent Types of Surgical Mistakes

Doctors operatingUndergoing a surgical procedure can be a nerve-wracking process. It can be unsettling to know that a doctor will cut into your body, so you want to know that the professional you have chosen has the requisite skill, as well as the history for using appropriate caution to minimize the risk of side-effects or unanticipated consequences. Even though modern medicine can do some amazing things, there are still far too many situations where lack of standards or lack of attention result in surgical error. Here are the most common types of surgical errors:

  • Failure to use due care—In some situations, the surgeon can try to move too quickly, or without requisite concern for surrounding organs or potential injury to other parts of the body. For example, the surgeon may not take the time to verify where certain nerves are, or may nick a spleen or other vital organ out of simple carelessness.
  • Operating on the wrong body part—Most hospitals work extremely hard to ensure that the surgery is performed on the correct body part. Nurses or doctors may use bright colored tape to designate the correct limb or body part, or may put a big black X on the wrong limb. Nonetheless, too many patients still have surgical procedures on the wrong body part.
  • Cutting at the wrong spot—A surgeon may make an incision in the wrong place, complicating the procedure or even making it impossible to perform the surgery
  • Leaving a surgical tool or implement in a body cavity—The surgeon may have a sponge, scalpel or other item that needs to be used inside a patient’s body, and forget to take it out before the wound is sewn up.
  • Medications errors, including anesthesia mistakes—These can result from the failure to conduct a proper work-up, from the administration of too much or too little anesthesia, or from the use of the wrong medication
  • Operating on the wrong patient—This typically happens when patient charts get mixed up

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood

At the law office of Michael J. Hood, in Wilmington, we bring more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims in Delaware. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at (302) 777-1000 for an appointment.

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