Surgery is dangerous for a variety of reasons. Some people have bad reactions to anesthesia. Any cut in the body increases someone’s risk of infection. People can have unusual side effects or struggle to physically heal from surgery.
There is also the possibility that medical professionals could make a mistake during a routine operation. One of the most common and alarming surgical errors involves a medical professional leaving foreign objects behind in a patient. How often do surgeons leave scalpels, gauze or other tools behind inside a patient after surgery?
There are dozens of such mistakes each week
Despite numerous systems established to protect patients from catastrophic medical errors, surgeons and their support staff members can still make mistakes during a procedure. Retained foreign bodies are among the most common medical mistakes made during modern surgery. Somewhere between 0.3 and 1.0 per 1,000 surgeries result in a surgeon leaving a foreign object behind in a patient’s body.
With tens of thousands of surgeries occurring each week across the country, that adds up to dozens of patients with items left behind after the procedure. Such mistakes often necessitate revision procedures and can harm a patient’s recovery. A second surgery can come with its own complications and risks. People may need longer to recover and could have infections or traumatic injuries caused by the objects left behind during the procedure.
The people affected by significant surgical errors sometimes have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Holding a surgeon or facility accountable can compensate people for the losses generated by a surgical error.