Over the last several years, researchers have investigated the high rate of medical mistakes that contribute to preventable patient injuries and deaths. Quite recently, medical errors were ranked as the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., and researchers emphasized that the majority of these mistakes are avoidable. Medical errors can happen in any area of healthcare practice, from anesthesia and surgical errors in hospital settings to diagnostic errors in a doctor’s office to medication mistakes in a local pharmacy. Yet medical mistakes do not happen equally across healthcare fields, and they can vary widely in terms of the injuries they cause. According to a recent report in Becker’s Clinical Leadership & Infection Control, “surgery and procedure-related allegations make up the biggest share of medical malpractice claims.”
To be clear, surgical errors are responsible for the largest number of medical malpractice claims and payouts. What do you need to know about surgery or surgical mistakes?
What are Surgical Errors?
Surgical errors are mistakes that occur when a patient is undergoing a surgical procedure. There are many different types of surgical errors, including but not limited to the following:
- Leaving a foreign object, such as a sponge or towel, inside a patient after surgery;
- Operating on the wrong body part (also known as wrong-site surgery);
- Operating on the wrong patient;
- Perforation of a patient’s organ; or
- Cutting a patient’s nerve.
Surgical Errors Account for Majority of Medical Malpractice Claims
As the recent report explains, surgical errors, including mistakes made during surgeries and other procedures, account for 57% of all medical malpractice allegations, and these specific injuries are responsible for nearly 60% of all claims that are ultimately paid out to injured patients. The report also notes that surgical injury claims have increased over the last decade. When it comes to specific types of surgeries, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and gastroenterologists were the most common healthcare providers identified as negligent in the claims.
More concerning is the fact that many of the surgeons held accountable for surgical errors are repeat offenders. According to the report, “63% of surgical claims involved a surgeon with multiple claims.” Neurosurgeons were most commonly identified as negligent healthcare providers with histories of multiple medical malpractice claims.
Contact My Firm for Assistance with Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Nobody should ever have to experience an entirely preventable surgical error. However, surgical errors do happen, and they can be devastating. As the information above helps to make clear, patients are often successful when they file medical malpractice claims against surgeons and hospitals after they suffer a surgical error. Surgical errors are never events, which means they never should happen in a healthcare setting. Not only is it important to file a claim in order to seek the financial compensation you deserve, but it is also critical to hold these negligent surgeons and facilities accountable for the harm they have caused. When it comes to healthcare providers and medical malpractice claims, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Contact my law firm today at 877.944.4373 to discuss your case.