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Personal Injury Law Blog

4 common types of surgical errors

Surgery is often a necessary medical procedure, performed with the utmost care and precision.

However, like any complex task, it is not immune to errors.

1. Wrong-site surgery

Performing surgery on the wrong site is a grave error that should never happen, but it still occurs. This type of surgical mistake involves operating on the incorrect part of the patient’s body. This error can lead to severe complications, permanent damage or even the loss of a limb.

2. Retained surgical instruments

Leaving surgical instruments, such as sponges, clamps or needles, inside a patient’s body after surgery is a distressing error. This can result in infection, damage to internal organs or the need for additional surgeries to remove the retained objects.

3. Inadequate sterilization

Infections can be a major concern following surgery, and improper sterilization of surgical equipment can lead to this preventable problem. Inadequate sterilization can result in post-operative infections, which can prolong recovery times and cause additional health issues for the patient.

4. Anesthesia errors

Anesthesia is a necessary component of surgery, and errors related to anesthesia can have serious consequences. Administering too much or too little anesthesia, or failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs properly during the surgery, can result in anesthesia-related complications, including respiratory distress or awareness during surgery.

While surgery is a common and often life-saving medical procedure, it is not without its risks. According to the World Health Organization, patients have a 1 in 300 chance of facing some sort of harm during health care. If harmed, the patient has the right to seek compensation.