Surgical errors can cause catastrophic injuries for MN patients

Surgical errors occur in operating rooms surprisingly often, and may cause devastating injuries and even death in some cases.

When Minnesota residents go into the operating room for a surgical procedure, they are essentially placing their lives in the hands of medical professionals and staff. During many procedures, patients are put under anesthesia and rely on the steady hands and experience of the surgeons operating on them. Surgeons are human, however, and can make mistakes. Even the slightest error can spell disaster for patients going under the knife. An article published by American Medical News reported that at least 80 surgical errors are made in U.S. operating rooms each week.

Mistakes such as operating on the wrong body part or performing the wrong procedure on a patient are referred to as "never-events" in the medical community because they are situations that are completely preventable and should never happen. The operating room can be a chaotic environment, and amongst the hustle and bustle, a mistake may occur.

Types of surgical errors

There are several ways that a surgical procedure can go wrong. According to CNN News and American Medical News, these include:

  • Surgical equipment, such as forceps or surgical sponges, are left inside the patient's incision
  • The wrong surgical site is operated on. For instance, instead of operating on the right knee, the surgeon cuts into the left knee.
  • The wrong amount of anesthesia is used, which may cause the patient to be "awake" but paralyzed during the entire operation.

Victims of surgical errors may experience an immense amount of pain, especially when they must undergo a second surgical procedure to correct the damage done during the erroneous surgery. They may also acquire extensive medical bills from the mistake. In some cases, these mistakes may cause a catastrophic disability that will affect the patient for the rest of his or her life.

Case in point

A man residing in another state visited the doctor after he started feeling ill, according to a USA Today report. After a regiment of laxatives and antacids, the pain continued to grow in intensity. A CT scan revealed that the man had surgical sponges attached to his intestines from a procedure he had a year earlier. The sponges had become so infected that surgeons had to remove parts of the man's intestines. The man must now wear a pouch hooked to his stomach in order to catch his waste.

Finding help when you need it

Victims of medical malpractice may suffer from a wide-variety of disabilities and ailments. You may be suffering from pain, depression and extensive medical bills. You may be eligible for monetary and punitive compensation for your pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney with knowledge of Minnesota medical malpractice laws may provide essential legal counsel to those victimized by surgical errors.