Scheduled for surgery? You might be at risk for surgical errors

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

When you or a loved one visit a Georgia doctor because you are experiencing symptoms of ill-health, you can logically assume that he or she will hopefully be able to diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatment to promote healing. In some cases, the recommendation might include surgery. Upon learning that you or an immediate family member needs surgery, you might feel a bit worried or anxious, which is natural.

You might want to inquire how many similar surgeries your prospective surgeon has performed because going under the knife of a highly experienced surgeon may help reduce your anxiety. Even experienced surgeons can make mistakes. While you don’t want to exhaust all your energy focusing on the worst that could happen, it is wise to be aware of potential risks. Sadly, there are three common types of surgical errors that cause injury to thousands of patients in this state and across the country every year.

Make sure the surgeon has the right patient in mind

Most hospitals in the United States use computerized systems to track patient information nowadays. However, human beings still have to enter the data, which means there is always a possibility of error. One of the most common surgical errors today occurs when surgeons operate on the wrong people. Before you receive anesthesia, your medical team should confirm that you are the correct patient.

Right patient, wrong surgery

Unfortunately, confirming that you the correct patient scheduled for surgery doesn’t necessarily eliminate the possibility that a serious error could occur to cause you injury. Did you know that many patients awaken to learn that their surgeons performed the wrong operations on their bodies? Imagine going to the hospital for gallbladder surgery and finding out that you had a knee replacement, instead.

Correct surgery, wrong body part

As if the first two surgical errors mentioned earlier aren’t bad enough, the third most common type of surgical mistake is wrong-site surgeries. Perhaps you indeed needed a knee replacement when you entered the hospital. You’d possibly have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit if you later learn that the surgeon in question performed the operation on the wrong knee.

Proving a medical malpractice case

As a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case, you’d be tasked with presenting evidence in court to show that negligence occurred, and such negligence directly caused you to suffer injury. These cases can be quite complex and victory does not always come easy. Many injured patients allow experienced personal injury attorneys to act on their behalves in court, which increases the likelihood of successful litigation.


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