4 types of surgical errors

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Medical errors, including surgical errors, are a leading cause of death for patients in the United States. This substantial threat to patient safety constitutes a serious public health problem.

Sometimes surgical mistakes occur when a doctor does something incorrectly in the operating room. This type of error is an “active error” which can present itself in multiple ways.

1. Nerve damage

During the course of the surgery, the doctor may hit a nerve in the patient’s body. This can lead to serious, lasting damage. The patient may experience a host of symptoms, depending on the severity and location of nerve damage. These adverse effects include numbness in the affected body part, burning sensation in the area or chronic pain throughout the body.

2. Surgery on the wrong patient

Miscommunication or misdiagnosis on the part of medical professionals can result in a patient having an unnecessary procedure performed on his or her body. Undergoing an unnecessary, incorrect surgery leaves lasting impacts on a patient, both psychologically and physically.

3. Surgery on a different body part

If a physician misdiagnoses a patient, the patient will receive an incorrect treatment on the wrong body part. The patient may undergo a procedure when he or she does not suffer health issues that require surgery.

4. Leaving an item in the patient

If the surgeon fails to remove all items from inside the patient after the surgery, the patient will suffer long-term health issues from those foreign objects in his or her body. A doctor or nurse may leave gauze, scissors, clamps, sponges, pins or other equipment inside the patient.

These errors should not occur, but if they do, affected patients can explore their legal options.