All surgeries carry inherent risks to patients who undergo them, but doctor/nurse negligence can further complicate this situation. Negligence can occur in “major” or “minor” surgeries, as well as tests/screenings/diagnosis, worsening patients’ health outcome and sometimes resulting in death.
Following is a list of some surgical errors that are more common than they should be:
• Surgery on the wrong patient. Miscommunication between health-care professionals, lack of preoperative verification, and inadequate hospital protocol can lead to the loss of healthy organs and other consequences, not to mention that the original intended surgery still hasn’t been performed.
• Wrong-side surgery. Whether a patient has the wrong leg amputated or a healthy kidney removed and the diseased one left untouched, it’s a mistake that should never happen.
• Foreign objects left in the body. Sometimes when a patient is “closed up” after surgery, they wind up having more parts inside them than prior to surgery. Sponges, clamps, gauze, pads, and scalpels have on occasion been left behind, inside patients. Extreme pain, serious infection, and death are the obvious potential outcomes. A patient who survives initially will need another surgery to remove the left-behind item.
• Anesthesia errors. Too much anesthesia may lead to lack of oxygen, brain damage, and death. Too little might result in a patient waking up in the middle of surgery in excruciating pain.
• Collateral damage. While surgery to correct one problem may be successful, other problems are sometimes created. A punctured organ or damaged nerves may lead to lifetime disabilities, chronic pain, and serious infection.
If you’ve been a victim of a surgical error, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to fight for your rights for just compensation.