How likely are medication errors before, during or after surgery?

Preparing for a surgery is not always easy. Patients in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are likely concerned about the procedure, what complications a surgeon might encounter during the procedure and how well their recovery will be post operation. While surgeons are the medical professionals that control the procedure, other medical professionals play major roles. And any of these medical professionals could be the cause of a medical mistake occurring during the surgery.

How likely are medication errors before, during or after a surgery? Based on recent statistics, medication errors and adverse drug events occur at an alarming rate during, prior to and after surgical procedures. A recent study tracked 277 randomly selected operations and discovered that in roughly 45 percent of them, at least one medication error or adverse drug event occurred.

These operations included 3,675 medication administrations, and during these it was found that 153 medication errors and 91 adverse drug events were recorded from a direct observation or a chart review. It was also discovered that roughly 80 percent of these events were preventable, 33 percent led to adverse drug events and the remaining had the possibility to cause and adverse event.

This study focused on three medical professionals, including anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists and resident physicians. Documented medication errors included the wrong medication, the wrong dosage and the wrong administering time.

When a medical mistake such as a medication error occurs, a patient could suffer. An injured patient does have recourse available and could hold a negligent physician responsible. A medical malpractice claim could help a patient recover compensation for any losses or damages suffered.

Source:, “Study: Medication Errors Rampant During Surgery,” Oct. 27, 2015