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Are surgical errors on the rise?

Maryland residents may well face surgery with trepidation. There are always risks associated with surgery, after all. It is especially disconcerting planning a surgery when a patient discovers just how common a problem surgical errors are.

While many patients may be tempted to shop around for a surgeon who offers the best rate on a surgery, the cost in the long run may be much more than the patient had bargained for. Other surgeons are sometimes reluctant to call out their fellow surgeons. When surgeons are left performing what they refer to as cleanup surgeries, it stands to reason that it might serve their best interests in addition to the interest of the patients.

One medical professional cited several alarming mistakes made by his fellow surgeons, such as removing the wrong organ and mistakenly removing part of an organ in an unrelated surgery. In fact, he confirmed that medical mistakes such as these contribute to surgical errors being a leading cause of death in America. While some doctors feel like it is responsible to warn patients of the risks that go along with seeking treatment from certain other doctors, many are leery of jeopardizing the loss of referral business from them.

There is also the worry of becoming entangled in the possible medical malpractice battle that might result. The risk of surgery may never go away, but patients deserve the right to make their own informed decisions about their care. In cases where Maryland residents do experience surgical errors, they may have the right to pursue a claim to receive compensation to cover any additional medical bills they might incur.

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat, Why Doctors Stay Mum About Mistakes Their Colleagues Make, Marshall Allen, Nov. 28. 2013

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