You assume all brain surgeons are smart and competent. Performing brain surgery is a complex and life-or-death procedure that requires skill. Unfortunately, not every brain surgeon lives up to this expectation. In fact, Newsweek reports that doctors recently performed brain surgery on the wrong patient. This happened because of an ID mix-up, and doctors did not notice until they had already been performing on the wrong patient for hours.
This is one of the most horrifying errors you can imagine. What if you go to the doctor for a noninvasive treatment and accidentally get brain surgery? Well, it may sound impossible, but it can happen. Despite the fact that most doctors are capable and careful, life-changing blunders occur.
Other types of surgery mistakes
Wrong-patient surgery is one of the most extreme surgical errors, but there are plenty of others, including:
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Leaving a surgical instrument inside the patient
- Cutting an incision at the incorrect location
- Giving too much or too little anesthesia
- Damaging a nerve during the operation
These errors may occur during any type of surgery, including brain surgery, hernia repair, C-section or appendectomy.
Why surgical errors happen
It is surprising to learn that surgery mistakes are common. How can well-trained and proficient doctors make such devastating mistakes? Here are some causes:
- Poor communication with other doctors or hospital staff members
- Trying to take shortcuts instead of taking the necessary steps during an operation
- Insufficient preparation
- Inexperience and incompetence
- Fatigue after working long hours
- Impairment from alcohol or drugs
You may think it is strange that adept and skillful experts can make these kinds of errors. Sadly, they occur. Any mistake is one too many.
Being the victim of a surgical error may be a scary thought. If you or someone you love experiences anything like this, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice.