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What Are the Most Common Types of Surgical Errors?

What Are the Most Common Types of Surgical Errors?

Anyone who is required to undergo surgery is likely to be worried about the risks involved in the procedure, the potential complications, and the effects to their overall health. However, the possibility of surgical errors is an additional concern for many patients. This is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice, and patients who have been injured by the negligence of a surgeon or other hospital staff should work with an experienced attorney to determine how to recover compensation for their injuries.

Common Surgical Errors

Major surgical errors are known as “never events,” because they should never take place. Unfortunately, they occur much more often than one would expect, and they can happen because surgeons are stressed or overworked, because of distractions present in the operating room, because medical staff make oversights or clerical errors, or because doctors do not consider all the necessary factors to ensure that a patient is cared for correctly. These major surgical errors may include:

  • Operating on the wrong part of the body – “Wrong side” or “wrong site” errors involve a surgical procedure being performed on the incorrect location on a patient’s body. For example, a doctor may perform a surgery on the left knee when it should have been done on the right knee, or a surgeon may perform a spinal surgery at the wrong level of the spine.
  • Operating on the wrong patient – In some cases, procedures meant to be performed on one patient may be done on a different patient. This can occur if patients have similar names, or it may simply be due to clerical errors and the oversight of hospital personnel.
  • Leaving foreign objects in the body – Surgeons should take care to ensure that all tools used during a procedure are accounted for. If objects such as sponges or medical instruments are left inside the patient’s body after a procedure is finished, this can lead to dangerous infections and other complications.
  • Anesthesia errors – Anesthesiologists should be sure to review a patient’s medical history to ensure that the medications used during surgery will not endanger their health. Patients should also be closely monitored throughout the procedure, and immediate steps should be taken if they have a bad reaction to anesthesia. Errors made by anesthesiologists can result in serious complications, such as brain damage caused by lack of oxygen.

Contact a New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you or a family member have suffered a serious injury because of negligence by a doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional, Goldberg Sager & Associates can help you pursue compensation. We will work to hold the negligent medical personnel responsible for the harm that was done to you and ensure that your family has the financial resources you need as you recover from your injuries. Contact our Brooklyn surgical injury attorneys at 718-514-9516 to schedule a free consultation.


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    Brooklyn, New York 11229
    Phone: 718-645-6677