Doctor performing surgery

Most Common Surgical Errors

When it comes to surgical procedures, there’s seldom a moment of certainty. As much as doctors and medical professionals follow safety standards, errors and other mistakes often happen when you least expect them.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, roughly 10% of all surgical deaths in the United States occur due to medical errors. Additionally, figures show that over 4,000 preventable injuries occur yearly, usually due to surgical negligence and oversight.

How Surgical Errors Occur

Every surgical procedure comes with a unique set of circumstances. Surgeries involve many moving parts, so there’s always a risk of human error. 

Some surgical injuries result from incompetence on surgeons’ or other medical staff’s behalf. Poor training or lack of skill can be especially dangerous for patients. Injuries abound when a doctor has not been adequately trained or fails to follow standards of practice.

In other cases, surgical errors can happen when doctors prepare inadequately before a procedure. Even the most simple surgeries require meticulous preparation. Medical instruments need to be sterilized and readily available. When surgical teams fail to engage in due diligence, complications can arise.

Other common causes of surgical errors include:

  • Rushing a procedure to save time
  • Communication errors between medical staff
  • Surgeon fatigue
  • Broken or damaged medical equipment
  • Substance abuse on behalf of surgical staff

New York law regards personal injuries as serious matters, especially when they arise from medical malpractice. If you’ve been injured during surgery, you should consult with a dedicated personal injury attorney. 

4 Common Surgical Injuries

Surgical injuries vary from case to case. While many surgical injuries can be treated, others may result in permanent and life-altering damage. 

1. Foreign Objects Left Behind

Surgical procedures involve many instruments, tools, devices, and other medical equipment. Small objects can be left behind inside a patient’s body, resulting in pain, discomfort, infection, and even death.

Operating rooms are known to be chaotic, and many times, even the most established surgical teams can make mistakes and leave foreign objects behind. In many cases, these severe mistakes require additional surgery to correct, which can further endanger a patient’s health.

2. Surgery in the Wrong Location

Sometimes, surgeons perform procedures in the wrong location, resulting in severe consequences.

Some “wrong site surgeries” have been known to damage perfectly healthy organs and even result in wrong limb amputations. Doctors must adhere to strict safety standards and cover all their bases before surgery. Whenever vital steps are bypassed, otherwise preventable injuries can occur.

3. Incorrect Surgery Performed

In other severe cases of medical malpractice, hospital staff may order the wrong surgery to be done or can mix up patients in the operating room. Surgeons can perform entirely different surgeries on patients, which can result in serious complications.

Administrative mistakes, such as scheduling errors or incorrect patient transfers, can be dangerous forms of negligence.

4. Anesthesia-Related Injuries

One of the most critical components of a successful surgery is anesthesia. Anesthesia must be administered by an experienced professional known as an anesthesiologist. Their function is to determine the ideal amount of anesthetic a patient needs, which requires precise calculations.

Patients can suffer permanent injury and even death whenever the anesthetic dosage is incorrect.

If too much anesthesia is administered during surgery, the brain can be deprived of oxygen. Patients can wake up during surgery and experience severe pain and psychological trauma whenever too little is given.

Surgical Injury Attorneys in Long Island

Kohan Law Group represents personal injury clients throughout New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County. If you’ve suffered from medical malpractice and became injured during surgery, you have the right to hold the negligent parties responsible. 

Contact us today for a free consultation and case review.