Errors in the operating room can have permanent, life-altering consequences. We trust our doctors and surgeons to perform medical procedures efficiently and with our best interests in mind; however, surgical errors are much more common than you may think.
According to a study done by Johns Hopkins, surgical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. They approximate that more than 250,000 deaths are caused by surgical errors every year. Our West Virginia surgical error lawyers are here to hold those medical professionals and hospitals accountable for their deadly mistakes.
Common Surgical Errors
Foreign objects are left in the patient’s body.
A variety of equipment and medical tools are used during all surgeries. Too frequently, one of those tools is left inside a patient. This includes objects like scalpels, gauze, sponges, and clamps. Once left inside, the object can cause severe pain and infection. A secondary surgery and longer recovery time are necessary to remove the item and heal.
An error is made with the anesthesia.
Calculating and properly administering anesthesia to a patient is one of the most important parts of what goes on in the operating room. If a patient is given too much anesthesia, they may not get enough oxygen. As a result, brain damage and death may occur. If a patient is not given enough anesthesia, they may wake up during surgery and experience severe physical pain and trauma.
Surgery is performed on the wrong side of the body.
Prior to your operation, your doctor should mark the part and side of your body they’ll be operating on. This will then be confirmed in the operating room before they begin. If this is not done, there’s a chance you may wake up to learn your operation occurred on the wrong side of your body. These errors can be devastating, especially with amputation and organ transplant surgeries.
Surgery is performed on the wrong patient.
In the event of an overlooked chart, extreme miscommunication, or lack of preoperative verification, incidents have occurred where a scheduled surgery is performed on the wrong patient. This can be devastating for both patients involved.
A mistake is made that causes nerve damage.
A surgeon’s hand should always be steady. If not, the consequences can be immense. Just a single hand tremor can cause a scalpel to come in contact with nerves and surrounding tissues. The end result may be lifelong pain or even paralysis.
Needing or deciding to have surgery can be a stressful time. You shouldn’t have to add medical malpractice to the list of your concerns. If you’ve been the victim of a surgical error in West Virginia, contact us today.