Surgery is a terrifying thought for most people. While most people come through surgery just fine, surgeons can make mistakes in the operating room.
Many different things can cause surgical errors, and these errors often lead to devastating injury and even death. A study conducted by the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) between 1990 and 2010 found that over 4,000 yearly claims occurred for surgical “never events” ― events that should never occur, such as operating on the wrong side of the patient, operating on the wrong patient, conducting the wrong procedure, and leaving surgical equipment in the patient.
Among the most frequent causes of surgical malpractice are:
- Surgeon fatigue
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Anesthesiologist’s failure to properly monitor the patient
- Leaving surgical tools inside the patient
If you need surgery, it’s best to arm yourself with the following protection:
Bring an advocate along. Bring along a family member or friend to ask questions and keep the medical staff on their toes when you may not be able to advocate for yourself.
Ask questions and conduct research. Ask your surgeon how many times he or she has performed this procedure. Ask the nurses and surgeon to check your ID bracelet. Research the hospital online by checking out HealthGrades or a similar website that keeps track of hospital safety.
Make sure your doctor initials your site. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that patients have their doctor sign their initials directly on the site before surgery to ensure that the proper location will be operated on.
By taking these precautions, you will most likely come through your surgery just fine. However, if you’ve been injured due to a surgical error, consult with a Tucson medical malpractice attorney to get your just compensation.