According to WebMD, at least 4,000 surgical mistakes happen every year, and that doesn't include mistakes that may go unreported because they weren't discovered immediately. This number seems alarming and it may be especially jarring for those who recently underwent surgery or are preparing for an upcoming surgical procedure.
A cancer patient presented to the University Hospital Coventry in England to have her kidney removed as part of her cancer treatment; tragically, the mother of three passed away two days after the operation. The woman allegedly died due to a medical error in which the blood supply from two arteries was cut off, which was not supposed to be a part of the procedure. This fact was never reported to the woman's family. The family only learned of these allegations after BBC received an anonymous tip and informed the family. In addition, the hospital reportedly did not report any error to the coroner's office. The hospital wrote to the woman's family and apologized "for the distress that they have suffered." The hospital also said that the coroner was immediately notified of the death in a detailed report. The coroner's office, however, stated that "the hospital did not make the coroner aware of any surgical error at the time of death or subsequently until the matter was brought to the coroner's attention by solicitors for the family."
Health officials are investigating a complaint that a Massachusetts surgeon inadvertently removed a kidney from the wrong patient. The alleged error occurred at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, but the patient's physician, who was not affiliated with the hospital, scheduled the surgery and is most likely at fault. Officials connected with St. Vincent Hospital gave the following statement:
It took only fifteen minutes for the lives of five Massachusetts residents to be turned upside down. The Massachusetts natives were five of forty-five patients scheduled for cataract removal surgery on the same day. Experts characterize cataract removal as a routine procedure - serious injury is rare. Before undergoing the cataract surgery, the five patients underwent an eye block anesthetic, which involves injecting a numbing agent into the eyeball muscles. The patients were discharged and sent home with a patch over their eye after doctors performed what they thought were successful cataract removals. Unfortunately, when the patients presented back to the surgery center the following day and the patch was removed, their vision had been handicapped. Three of the patients were completely blind in the eye that was operated on, and the other two had severely restricted vision. The injuries have shocked eye surgeons across the country, but specialists have concluded that the patients' anesthesiologist probably pierced the retinas of the patients with his needles. The patients are now struggling to adjust to their new lives - several have had to quit their jobs and all are experiencing problems with depth perception and everyday tasks.
Pittsburgh residents, who believe they have been affected by a medical mistake, know how serious and emotional this time can be. These mistakes, like a surgical error, can affect anyone and can lead to a worsened condition, even death. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine highlights 5 behaviors that doctors may have that can lead to them becoming named in a medical malpractice claim.
Many Pittsburgh residents have seen the news coverage of surgical never events. These extreme cases occur when a doctor leaves medical equipment inside of a patient or operates on the wrong body part. Although these surgical errors are rare, they still affect thousands of patients each year in the United States.
Some Pittsburgh residents will need to have surgery at some point. Whether that is a routine or emergency surgery, all surgeries carry risks. But, unexpected surgical errors can lead to serious injuries or even death.
No Pennsylvania resident ever expects they will be the victim of medical malpractice. But, this is the reality for thousands of patients across the United States each year. Many times a medical malpractice injury, like a surgical error, is not immediately apparent. But, there is a time limit of when a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed.
Many Pittsburgh residents will need to have surgery this year. Although there are risks involved in surgery -- some which are serious -- most surgeries go as planned. But, when a surgeon makes a surgical errors the results can be unexpected and devastating for families.
A newborn baby is something that parents have been anticipating for months. Usually the birth goes as expected, the baby and parents stay in the hospital for a few days, and then go home together. But, occasionally a medical trauma like a surgical error occurs.