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Seven Possible Causes of Surgical Mistakes

The Becker Law Firm, LPA

Whether a patient has undergone a general surgery procedure or one involving a specialist, such as a cardiologist or neurosurgeon, there is always risk. In some cases, surgical error may cause injury to patients.

This form of medical negligence happens more often than many people think, according to a 2012 Johns Hopkins study;

  • a foreign object is left in the body 39 times a week;
  • the wrong procedure is performed 20 times a week; and
  • the wrong body site is operated upon 20 times a week.

What are some possible causes of a surgical error?

The following are seven common causes of surgical mistakes:

  • inexperience;
  • fatigue from working too many hours;
  • mixing up patient records, lab results or biopsy samples;
  • miscommunication;
  • samples are mislabeled; and
  • not following surgical protocol (such as taking a “time out” to verify patient and surgical site are correct).

If the surgeon leaves an object in the patient’s body, operates on the wrong site or performs the wrong procedure, or is otherwise negligent, patients may have legal recourse against a medical specialist or general surgeon who made the errors. A medical malpractice claim may be filed against the negligent surgeon who made the error that led to injury and damages. An attorney can assist patients who are victims of surgical malpractice.

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