Surgical procedures can help resolve health concerns ranging from cancer development to severe fractures. Yet, surgery is also invasive and puts someone at risk of injury and infection. Some people respond poorly to anesthesia, while others have a hard time healing after an operation. Even when a procedure goes smoothly, recovery can take quite some time.
Unfortunately, for dozens of patients across the country every week, something goes drastically wrong during a surgical operation. Surgeons and members of their support staff may make mistakes that result in “never events,” which are surgical errors so severe that they should never happen any modern surgical theater or hospital. The following are the three most common number events that still occur frequently during surgical procedures despite the fact that they, truly, never should.
Wrong site or wrong side mistakes
It has become common practice at many medical facilities to have a patient circle or mark the body part that requires surgery prior to the operation. This extra step is specifically to help prevent a surgeon from operating on the wrong part of the body or the wrong side of the body. Such errors can require that someone undergoing procedures second time or might even make them ineligible to have the surgery performed on the appropriate body part.
Wrong procedure mistakes
Sometimes, the mistake that a surgeon makes is to confuse the needs of two different patients. They may have multiple procedures to perform in one day, which might lead to them performing the wrong procedure on a patient. Such errors can leave someone in the hospital for many additional weeks, as they may need to recover from the wrong procedure before they can undergo the correct one.
Retained foreign bodies
Most hospitals require that surgeons and the professionals assisting surgeons during operations carefully track equipment like gauze and scalpels. Despite those requirements, sometimes people only discover after the end of a procedure that there are missing surgical implements. When a doctor closes a patient’s incision while there is still a foreign object in their body, the outcome could be severe infection or physical trauma. The patient will likely require another procedure to remove the objects left behind in their body.
Those who understand that surgical errors are still relatively common may be in a better position to respond to a poor outcome after a procedure. Learning more about common errors can empower people to advocate for themselves and family members within the medical system and to seek legal guidance to secure rightful compensation whenever appropriate.