Common Medical Errors to Be Aware of Before Going into Surgery

Whether you are undergoing surgery for a medical condition or choosing an elective treatment, make sure you understand the risks before going under the knife. Even the most minor operations can lead to medical errors, resulting in side effects and complications.

What could go wrong in the operating room or during your recovery? Skilled doctors and modern technology help to minimize the risk of medical errors. But there are still more than 4000 surgical mistakes each year in the United States. Patients experiencing these issues face immediate consequences and life-long effects.

Most Common Types of Medical Errors

Here is an overview of the most common types of errors that occur in the operating room:

  1. Wrong Treatment or Patient

Unfortunately, there are cases where the doctor operates on the wrong body part or wrong patient. How many times do you provide your name or birthdate to the medical staff? Each time someone requests this information, the purpose is to prevent treatment and surgical errors.

If this medical error occurs, it can result in an unnecessary scar because the doctor cuts a patient open and discovers there is nothing to fix. Or, the doctor might proceed with the treatment as planned, even though there isn’t anything wrong with that part of the body.

Waking up from surgery to discover that the doctor was working on the wrong part of the body is frustrating. This type of medical error often results in a breakdown of trust between the patient and providers.

  1. Anesthesia Mistake

Most of the time, you need some type of anesthetic during the treatment. General anesthesia means that a person will “sleep” through the treatment. Regional anesthesia is local medication to minimize the discomfort during and immediately after the surgery.

While anesthesia is standard in hospitals and surgical centers, most patients don’t realize that these medications come with serious risks. Not only are the drugs dangerous, but the anesthesiologist must consider a variety of details to determine proper administration:

  • Personal medical history
  • Family history
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Response to general anesthetic in the past
  • Allergies

Careful consideration of these factors is critical to avoid a drug reaction, such as respiratory failure, cardiovascular issues, coma, or even death. These risks are much higher in the older population than in younger patients.

  1. Surgical Equipment Left Behind

Accidentally leaving a tool or sponge inside the body can lead to serious health issues after the surgery. Most of the time, the patient doesn’t realize there is an issue right away. Instead, the surgical equipment causes internal bleeding and pain.

Medical providers hold the responsibility to account for all tools after the completion of surgery. If they don’t have an accurate count, it could display negligence in your healthcare services.

  1. Collateral Damage

When a surgeon is correcting a particular medical condition, a small mistake could potentially damage another healthy part of the body. For example, treatment on one organ could cause collateral damage to a nearby organ.

You don’t want to go in to correct a problem, only to leave the hospital with another health issue. The doctor might be held liable for related losses because of the surgical treatment.

  1. Complications from the Surgery

The hope is that you will successfully complete the surgery and be on your way to recovery. But there are times when the surgeon fails to prevent or address complications from the treatment. If you are injured by a preventable medical error, then the doctor might be liable for the consequences.

One typical example is failing to monitor for known side effects after the surgery. It’s necessary to follow specific steps to prevent excess bleeding or a secondary infection. Medical errors often occur when providers skip these essential steps.

  1. Other Types of Medical Malpractice

Not only can medical errors occur during or after surgery, but other medical treatments can lead to complications as well. Some of the most common medical malpractice cases involve:

  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Birth injuries
  • Wrongful discharge
  • Nursing errors
  • Pain management errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Prescription mistakes
  • Patient injuries
  • Childbirth trauma

Size of Your Malpractice Claim

Even minor medical errors can lead to expensive medical bills. These issues might cause minor injuries and inconvenience. But there are situations where gross negligence leads to severe results for the patient. In all medical malpractice cases, it’s critical that these healthcare providers are held liable for their mistakes.

Malpractice claims provide compensation for injured patients. And it’s just as important to ensure that these mistakes and behavior don’t happen to other people.

Talking to an attorney is the best way to determine the potential compensation for your malpractice claim. A skilled provider can offer insights to help you access all the available funds.

Should You Hire an Attorney Specializing in Medical Errors?

If a surgical error occurs, it’s vital to seek legal advice as soon as possible. You might be able to pursue a malpractice claim. This legal action helps you access financial support to pay for related medical costs accrued because of the mistake. Also, there is a possibility of more money available for pain and suffering.

Accessing these malpractice funds gives you the ability to pay for additional surgeries or treatments to address the resulting problems.

The clock is ticking after a surgical error occurs. You have a small window of time to seek damages. So, reach out right away to learn more about available services from a trusted legal team.

Whether you are an injured patient or someone you love is hurt by medical errors, our experienced team can help. Contact the pros at Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. Our areas of expertise include medical malpractice claims, personal injury, class-action litigation, or maritime accidents.

You deserve quality legal help, and our team is just a phone call away. We have offices in New Orleans, New Roads, and Ridgeland. Call to schedule a consultation to talk to a lawyer you can count on: (504) 522-2304.