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Research into surgical errors shows the frequency and dangers

A concern for many New York residents who are set to undergo surgery is the possibility of surgical errors. Mistakes such as wrong-site surgery, improper use of medical equipment and surgical equipment left inside a patient might sound unusual, but they do happen and can result in serious injury or death.

According to recent research, these kinds of mistakes are infrequent. For approximately every 100,000 surgical procedures, doctors will operate on the wrong site once. This could mean operating on the right side of the body when the procedure was supposed to be on the left. Out of 10,000 surgeries, it is estimated that one will result in something like a surgical sponge being left inside the patient.

In many cases, the reason for the mistake is believed to be a lack of communication on the part of the medical staff. These incidents are referred to as 'never events" because they should never occur. The data on the frequency of these errors is, so far, incomplete. The researchers for this report examined 138 studies published between 2004 and 2014 and which described surgical equipment left inside a patient, wrong-site surgery, and surgical fires. The types of procedures that were being done were viewed as keys to the types of errors that were made.

There can be a multitude of factors that lead to a never event. It was suggested that improved record-keeping of these mistakes can help with explaining how and why they happen. In the meantime, people who have been injured by instruments left behind or other never events during a surgical procedure may face high medical expenses and further financial woes due to an inability to return to work. A victim of such an error may wish to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine the legal remedies that may exist.

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