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Surgical Errors Made in the Operating Room

Undergoing any type of surgery involves a level of risk. Surgical errors can happen during the most routine procedures. The error can also occur at any time. It can happen during surgery preparation, during the actual operation, or during recovery. They can also be caused by a number of things. Defective surgical instruments or negligence of medical staff. Surgical errors can leave permanent and damaging effects on the patient. Listed below are the most common surgical errors that occur under the care of physicians.

1. Foreign materials left in the body cavity

During an operation a number of things are taking place at once. The anesthesiologists is monitoring the amount of anesthetic the patient is receiving. The scrub nurse is handing surgical instruments to the operation doctor. Most importantly the doctor is completing the procedure. It is too easy for an error to happen, especially if a sudden change in the patients condition occurs. Because of this, sometimes objects are mistakenly left in the body of a patient. Surgical instruments such as scalpels, gauze, or clamps can be left inside. These foreign objects left can cause serious infections.

2. Patient surgery mix up

As ridiculous as it may sound, it is not uncommon for medical staff to mix up patient operations. On any given day hundreds of procedures can happen in a hospital. Sometimes the operations are as simple as a tonsil removal and sometimes they are as complicated as heart surgery. These patients mix ups can be caused by lack of communication between medical staff or a simple error in scheduling. If a healthy organ is removed by accident due to an oversight by staff this can open the door to a number of problems. The patient can experience unnecessary pain and serious threats to their health. The hospital can be slapped with a medical malpractice lawsuit.

3. Wrong side procedures

Wrong side procedures are another very common surgical error made in the operating room. During the span of one week  a general surgeon may remove over 10 kidneys from 10 different patients. After completing a procedure so routinely sometimes surgeons get overconfident and complete procedures paying very little attention to detail. It is possible for a healthy kidney to be taken out while the diseased one remains. It is also possible for the wrong arm to be amputated, while the infected one remains.

4. Errors with anesthetic

These types of errors are the most common types or surgical errors. These are also the most deadly surgical errors in the operating room. It is of extreme importance the correct dosage of anesthesia is given. If the amount of anesthesia is too great the patient may be deprived of oxygen too long, this can lead to brain death. If the patient is given too little they might awaken during the procedure. A patient that is conscious during a surgery would be in a great deal of pain. Witnessing a surgeon poke around your body may also be psychologically scarring.

If you have been the victim of a surgical error, feel free to contact us at Colley and Colley.