Surgical errors are frighteningly common

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Learning that one will need surgery can be an upsetting experience. However, waking up from that surgery to find that something went wrong can be absolutely traumatic. Surgical errors are not as rare as they might seem either, and patients in Delaware could be at a higher risk for problems than they realize.

Thousands of surgical errors every year

There are approximately 4,000 surgical errors in the United states each and every year. These errors often cause sentinel events, which are unexpected events that either cause death, or serious psychological and physical injury. Medical providers voluntarily self-reported 801 sentinel events in 2018 alone. Of these, there were 94 instances of wrong-site surgery and 111 of foreign objects left behind in patients. However, these numbers only account for those that were self-reported.

In a survey of 425 neurosurgeons, 50% admitted to performing a surgery on the wrong body part at least once. Wrong-site surgery occurs an estimated 40 times every week, too. With high error rates like this, it is easy to see why medical mistakes are the third most common cause of death in America. Patients who are about to go under the knife may want to consider taking some of the following steps to minimize their risk for surgical errors:

  • Seek second and third opinions
  • Bring a personal advocate to the hospital
  • Ask questions and verify information

Surgical errors can be devastating. Many victims in Delaware suffer not just physically, but financially and emotionally as well. Although there is nothing that can undo the harm that has already been done, it is possible to address current and future needs through the careful actions of a medical malpractice lawsuit.