How often do surgical mistakes happen in the United States?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Surgical mistakes probably seem like a thing of the past. You might picture an exaggerated sketch from a comedy show or think about doctors performing operations before they knew about proper sanitation.

Hospitals have special facilities designated for surgeries. The surgeons and their support staff go through intensive training and must maintain professional licenses. There are numerous systems in place to reduce the risk of something going wrong during an operation. However, surgical errors are a very concerning source of modern medical malpractice.

Despite the introduction of computerized harm reduction programs to track the tools used in surgery and even robotic machinery to complete the operations performed, surgical errors continue to cause some of the most devastating cases of medical malpractice in the united states. How frequently do surgeons make mistakes during a procedure?

There are dozens of surgical errors every week in this country

According to research into the frequency of major surgical errors, there are roughly four thousand significant, preventable surgical errors that occur every year in the United States. The kinds of mistakes that can occur are nearly infinite in variety, but certain surgical errors tend to occur more frequently than others.

The most common include surgeons leaving foreign objects behind in patients, facilities performing the wrong procedure on someone or medical professionals operating on the wrong body parts. Often, surgical mistakes require revision procedures or may be so severe that fully correcting them is not actually possible. Sometimes, they can prove fatal.

The saddest thing about these mistakes is that a little more care and attention to detail could effectively eliminate them. Human nature affects your safety even in the most regulated areas of life, like the practice of medicine.

Major mistakes may lead to malpractice claims

When surgeons or their support staff make egregious and obviously preventable mistakes during an operation, the patient affected or their surviving family members may be in a position to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

Holding a doctor or facility accountable by making a claim against malpractice insurance or pursuing a medical malpractice claim in court can prompt a change of procedures that will protect others from suffering the same injury you have.