Medical malpractice, which refers to injuries committed against patients, is a frightening reality in the U.S. Its effects include prolonged illness and life-threatening conditions. But equally frightening as its effects is the fact that this is nothing more than a result of negligence or carelessness of medical experts – a failure on their part to provide the quality of care patients rightly deserve. In 2010 alone, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services reported that 180,000 Medicare patients died due to medical malpractice; a study that the Journal of Patient Safety printed, however, says that the death rate ranged between 210,000 and 440,000.
Surgical error is one example of medical malpractice that continues to cause great harm to patients. According to a medical malpractice attorney in Oceanside, surgical error includes any of the following mistakes:
- Incorrect administration of anesthesia
- Foreign objects left in the patient’s body
- Wrongful death due to complications related to error
- Wrong-side surgeries and amputations
- Removal of wrong organ(s)
- Surgery on the wrong patient
In a research on patient safety conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, it was found that there are surgeons who operate on wrong body sites, perform wrong procedures or accidentally leave a foreign object inside a patient’s body, like forceps or a sponge; each of these incidences happen, at least, 20 times each week. There were also cases wherein a good kidney that was ready for transplant was accidentally thrown into a waste basket,a kidney was removed from a wrong patient, or a wrong leg or arm was amputated.
A Charleston medical malpractice attorney says that many cases of surgical error are due to a doctor misreading a medical chart, neglecting to review medical instructions, or improperly clearing a patient for surgery. As results of negligence, surgical errors are, actually, avoidable. In fact, many medical professionals identify these as “never events.” Despite the measures taken to end these mistakes, however, surgical errors continue to affect thousands of lives and kill thousands of others.