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Anticipating medical malpractice cases due to surgical errors

Many Laurel, Maryland residents may assume that surgeries are always performed to save someone's life and prevent further complications of a disease or illness. Surgical procedures have no room for error. The same goes for any diagnosis, treatment or medication given to a patient.

On the other hand, a surgical error called wrong-site surgery is ranked first among operating room concerns in the United States. Reportedly, Medline Industries, Inc. surveyed more than 2,000 nurses across the country regarding safety concerns in the operating room. With this, 65 percent of operating room nurses stated that wrong-site surgery is a major issue. This mistake may involve surgeries performed on the wrong patient and wrong procedures.

Unfortunately, such surgical errors are usually kept quiet. An expert recently stated that wrong-site surgeries performed on patients is under-reported most often. The danger of this error may begin before the actual operation. It may occur from the time when the surgeon suggests a particular surgery up to the time when the surgery is scheduled. Errors in the scheduling request may push the surgeon to operate on the wrong body part.

Aside from wrong-site surgery, surgical-site infections and surgical objects left in the patient's body may also pose a risk to the patient. Patients may suffer injuries or die during the operation, considering that such surgical errors can occur as often as 40 times each week in the country.

Regardless, surgical errors like wrong-site surgery should not happen. Health care professionals, including surgeons, are required to practice with caution. Breaching that responsibility can be considered medical negligence in the event of a medical error.

Surgical errors are certainly dire, especially to patients and their families. However, Maryland residents who experience a complication or death of a loved one due to medical negligence may have the right to obtain compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. The lawsuit may claim medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: Infection Control Today, "Wrong-Site Surgery Cited as Top OR Safety Challenge Among U.S. Hospitals, Survey Finds," July 31, 2013

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