Careless Surgical Mistakes Occur Far Too Often

Surgical mistakes are more common than one would think, according to a study published in December 2012. Study authors evaluated malpractice records in which surgeons operated on the wrong patient or body part or left surgical tools inside the patient after surgery. Study results showed that surgeons make these types of careless mistakes far too often.

According to the results, surgeons leave objects such as cotton balls, sponges and towels inside patients’ bodies almost 40 times per week. The study also found that doctors operate on the wrong part of the body about 20 times per week and on the wrong patient about 20 times per week.

These numbers are shocking. While these mistakes are made less than other medical mistakes, they are careless and should never occur. According to the study authors, these types of surgical errors happen when surgeons are rushed, when nurses don’t speak up when they suspect something is wrong or when multiple care teams are operating on the same patient at the same time.

Study authors also found that approximately 80,000 major surgical mistakes occurred in the U.S. between 1990 and 2010. Of those patients about a third suffered severe, permanent injuries and about 7 percent of them died.

The results from this study are shocking. Leaving an object in a patient’s body or operating on the wrong patient or body part is unacceptable. These types of mistakes occur due to negligence. Surgeons should be ashamed when these mistakes occur and hospitals should implement stronger safety precautions to make sure that they never do.

As medical malpractice lawyers in Miami, Baron, Herskowitz, and Cohen represent individuals and families affected by surgical mistakes. To speak with an experienced lawyer from our firm about a possible medical malpractice claim, contact our law firm today.