Surgeries are performed every day, many of which are considered routine and do not warrant much concern. These procedures are anything but innocuous, however, according to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, wrong site surgeries occur at least 40 times a week in the United States. Wrong site surgeries involve procedures that are performed on the wrong part or side of the body, the wrong patient, or even the wrong surgery. Surgical site infections and retained surgical objects follow closely as another major medical mistake in the operating room. According to Gabriel Mazzitelli, "Wrong site surgeries are particularly concerning because they should not happen. Proper training and organization could avoid a potentially life threatening mistake."
Surgical procedures often require a team and each member is to perform a specific function. Despite so many eyes on one patient, errors happen and things go terribly wrong. Some of these issues occur before the operation even begins, due to miscommunication between patient and surgeon regarding pre-operative instructions, such as fasting. An anesthesiologist should always confirm the identity of a patient, though this is sometimes overlooked as well. "Most Doctors spend very little time communicating with patients, a few extra minutes or even seconds, double-checking and confirming critical information could significantly reduce medical negligence," says Gabriel Mazzitelli.
In most cases, negligence is to blame for such avoidable errors. Many surgical mistakes can be avoided if:
· Performing staff have adequate training and experience in the procedure.
· Members of the team communicate effectively.
· Patient’s identity is confirmed to ensure correct procedure is performed on intended patient.
· Checklists are utilized to prevent surgical tools from being left in the patient’s body.
Post-operative actions are just as critical and another area where avoidable mistakes are often carelessly made. If the room in which a patient is recovering is not properly sanitized and disinfected, or if the patient is exposed to an employee who is ill, this can adversely affect the health of that patient. Gabriel Mazzitelli says, "Both Doctors and Nurses tend to disregard what they consider to be minor patient complaints after a surgery. This can translate into an infection or complication that could have been prevented."
We typically hear more about surgical horror stories involving wrongly amputated limbs, but nerve damage is another common error. Nerve damage can lead to a lifetime of suffering and many patients endure life-altering disabilities, from paralysis to quadriplegia.
Freidin Brown, P.A. delivers personalized legal attention to each client we represent. Our Miami medical malpractice attorneys can help you file an injury claim against the responsible medical professional or hospital. These mistakes are inexcusable and often cost the life of a patient or the quality of that life. We are here to provide the most detailed counsel we can. Take action today and call us for a free case review at (888) 650-0918.