Surgery is an invasive medical procedure that involves a skilled physician cutting into your body to remove something, repair something or even add something that wasn’t there before, like a pacemaker or hernia mesh. Surgeries are rife with the potential for complications, ranging from adverse reactions to anesthesia to postoperative infections.
Most people understand these secondary risks, but they may not realize that surgery often results in medical mistakes that can present substantial medical consequences for the patient. According to an analysis of medical statistics, roughly 79 people each week experienced a dramatic and preventable surgical error.
Although it seems like a joke, the idea that surgeons leave behind tools or personal belongings inside someone didn’t come from thin air. Instead, it turns out that forgotten foreign objects left inside of a surgical site happen roughly 39 times every week in the United States.
In some cases, the item may be soft, like gauze, while other times the item may be dangerous, like a scalpel. Items of different materials for different risks, including the potential for internal injuries or infection.
Imagine going under anesthesia to have a physician remove your necrotic left big toe, only to wake up and realize that they have amputated the large toe on your right foot instead. Every week, roughly 20 people discover after coming out of anesthesia that their physician performed the surgery on the wrong site or side of their body.
If a surgical mistake happened to you or a loved one, an attorney can advise you of your legal rights and whether you could have a successful civil case for medical malpractice.