Research has found that medical mistakes are a major cause of death in the United States. A study published by British Medical Journal in 2015 estimates that medical errors kill 251,000 people in the US each year. There are different types of medical mistakes that contribute to these deaths. For instance, surgical errors kill or injure thousands of people each year. Our blog is going to familiarize you with the different types of errors that can occur during surgery. Possible surgical errors include:
- Retained surgical items: Surgeons could leave objects behind in patients. These objects, which are known as retained surgical items (RSIs), could include surgical sponges or even scissors.
- Operating on the wrong body part: Surgeons could operate on the wrong body part. For instance, they could remove the wrong kidney or perform a procedure (such as an amputation) on the wrong limb.
- Anesthesia mistakes: Your surgical procedure could require the use of general anesthesia. The health care staff responsible for providing anesthesia could give you the wrong anesthetic. You could be given too much or too little of an anesthetic.
- Organ perforation or nerve damage: You could be left with paralysis if surgeons cut damaged nerves while operating. Surgeons could also perforate your gastrointestinal tract, which could lead to a life-threatening infection.
- Wrong patient surgery: Imagine having a surgical procedure performed on you that was meant for another patient. Surgeons may forget to do a preoperative patient verification before a procedure. As a result, they could perform surgery on the wrong patient.
Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for a Surgical Error?
These are cases where it could be possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical mistakes must meet specific criteria to be considered medical malpractice. An investigation is typically required to determine whether a case meets this threshold. The Washington DC medical malpractice lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC could help you determine whether you would be eligible to file a lawsuit. You may speak to one of our attorneys at no cost to determine which options could be available.