Surgical errors are a scary prospect for many people who enter the doctor’s office or the hospital. The idea that your health could get worse, instead of better, at a place of healing can understandably cause anyone great anxiety – especially when undergoing a surgeon’s knife. You may end up asking yourself a question like, how common are surgical errors?
The commonness of surgical errors
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there are at least 4,000 surgical errors each year in the United States alone. One of the most common types of surgical errors is operation on the wrong body part. It is also not unheard of for items to be left behind inside of patients after a surgery. These types of errors can be attributed to many things including; inadequate education, a lack of standardized rules, communication failure between staff, or operating in a hurry.
Unfortunately, surgical errors can lead to tissue or organ damage, internal bleeding, disability and in the worst case scenario, death. Recovery from a surgical error – which generally extends the expected recovery time – is a financial burden as well. In addition to pain and suffering the patient may have to undergo more surgery to correct the mistakes of the first surgery.
The patient may also need long term rehabilitation or accommodations made for a disability resulting from the surgical error.
Financing a recovery
How can someone recover from a devastating surgical error? For some patients, the injury sustained from the surgical error may make it difficult or impossible for them to find employment, or can severely delay a return to a paying job – on top of significant medical bills, and pain and suffering. For patients and families in that position, it may be vital for them to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit to cover the expenses that arise from a devastating surgical error.