Despite safety efforts, surgical errors still occur

As we have discussed in previous blog postings, surgical errors are still occurring in the U.S. There have been many recent safety efforts designed at minimizing these preventable surgical errors and they are rare. But, there are still hundreds that occur each year.

According to a recent study in the journal JAMA Surgery, the root cause of many of these mistakes is poor communication among the operating room staff. Wrong site surgery occurs in one out of 100,000 surgeries and surgical equipment left inside of a patient is more common and occurs in one out of every 10,000 surgeries. Surgical fires can also occur and cause serious injuries. Surgical fires occur with ignition from lasers and fuel from the drapes used in the room. With the supplemental oxygen in the room as well a major fire can occur quickly. A surgical fire can severely injure the patient and the medical staff that is in the room.

The major reason why these surgical errors occur is because of a lack of communication among staff. Despite safety efforts that have been made including the Universal Protocol these surgical never events still occur. If people have suffered a worsened condition because of a surgical error they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice.

An attorney can review the medical records and determine what happened to cause the unexpected injury. Compensation may be available for unexpected medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages. Surgical errors are still occurring across the U.S. despite the efforts that have been made. These surgical errors should never occur and patients who suffer from this negligence can have serious consequences.

Source:, “Major surgical mistakes still happen in the US,” Laura Geggel, June 11, 2015