A new study was recently published in the Archives of Surgery that attempted to determine how often certain types of surgical errors occur, according to Time.com.
The study looked specifically at wrong-site, wrong patient or wrong-procedure errors, such as a surgeon amputating the wrong limb, operating on the wrong patient or mistakenly removing a gallbladder instead of an appendix. The authors of the study looked at data from a liability insurance database with claims from January 2002 to June 2008.
Of the 27,370 problems listed in the database, 25 involved wrong-patient mistakes and 107 involved wrong-site mistakes. Of those 132 errors, 43 of them caused the patients serious harm and one led to death. In 85% of the cases, poor medical judgment was involved, and all of the cases involved poor communication. In a little over half of the cases, misdiagnosis of the medical condition also played a role in the mistake.
In about 72 percent of cases, the Universal Protocol was not followed. The Universal Protocol helps to prevent error during surgery, and requires surgeons to go through three steps before incision: verifying the procedure, marking the body, and taking time to check the patient’s identity and the surgery to be performed.
If you have been the victim of a major surgical error, contact the Oklahoma surgical malpractice attorneys at the Maples Law Firm. Our attorneys offer free consultations to medical malpractice victims in order to help them determine whether they have a viable case and how to proceed. Call us today at 888-429-0609.