While surgical procedures are performed with the utmost care and precision, surgical injuries can still occur due to various factors.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, these are some of the more common types of surgical errors that you should be aware of if you’re going through a surgery soon or have recently had one and you’re concerned that you may have sustained preventable harm.
Surgical procedures involving delicate structures, such as nerves, can sometimes result in unintended nerve damage. Nerve injuries can lead to pain, numbness, loss of sensation or paralysis in the affected area.
During surgery, organs can be accidentally punctured or perforated. This can occur due to instrument mishandling, incorrect placement of surgical tools or inadequate visualization. Organ perforations may require additional procedures to repair the damage.
Surgical site infections can occur when proper sterilization techniques are not followed or when precautions to prevent contamination are insufficient. These infections can cause pain, swelling, redness and, in severe cases, can lead to life-threatening complications.
Anesthesia-related errors can include administering incorrect dosages, failure to monitor vital signs, delayed recognition of adverse reactions or improper intubation. Anesthesia errors can lead to complications such as respiratory distress, cardiac issues or even brain damage.
Left behind foreign objects
Surgeons and surgical teams have a responsibility to ensure that all surgical instruments, sponges and other materials used during a procedure are properly accounted for and removed from the patient’s body. Leaving a foreign object behind can cause pain, infection and potentially require additional surgery to remove it.
Surgical errors often require more procedures for an affected patient. This can lead to financial difficulties, as well as mental and physical trauma. Seeking legal guidance to better determine whether a victim of a surgical error is in a strong position to take legal action is generally a good idea.