Errors that occur in operating rooms can be devastating, yet they occur with alarming frequency.
Examples include wrong-site, wrong-person and wrong-procedure errors. Other errors include performing unnecessary procedures, leaving a foreign object in a patient’s body, injury to adjacent organs and anesthesia errors. Why do such mistakes happen?
Poor preoperative planning
Surgeons need to plan for a procedure. They need to:
- Review a patient’s medical history, current condition and the procedure
- Perform required tests on the patient
- Prepare tools and necessary equipment
- Communicate with the surgical staff
Poor preoperative planning can lead to errors.
If a surgeon is untrained to handle a particular procedure, they may be considered incompetent. Hospitals should have surgeons who are specialized in different fields or get one who is when needed. A surgeon performing a procedure they are not skilled in can lead to significant consequences.
A hospital should ensure the number of patients they admit for surgeries is proportional to that of a surgeon’s safe capacity to act. A physician performing many procedures in a day can increase the chances of mistakes due to fatigue. Inadequate staffing of nurses and other specialists required to provide after-surgery care can also lead to injuries.
Surgery involves several departments in a hospital, including the administration desk. If there is poor or lack of communication between departments, an error can occur. For instance, if a nurse fails to document a patient’s allergy information, life-threatening consequences may be experienced on the operating table.
If you are injured due to surgical errors, seeking legal guidance can help you to pursue the justice you deserve.