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What is the common type of surgical error?

| Apr 2, 2015 | Surgical Errors

Countless people in Kew Gardens choose to undergo surgical procedures every year. In doing so, they place a great deal of trust in the surgeons, technicians, and anesthesiologists caring for them. While advances in surgical science have helped to lower the risk of surgical complications over the years, simple human error still allows for errors in the operating room. This may lead many to ponder the question of what is the most common form of surgical error.

According to the 2012 Annual Report from the National Practitioner Data Bank, 37,836 medical malpractice payments were made as the result of anesthesia-related errors from 2003 to 2012. That represents over 7,000 more payments than the next highest error category. Why is it that anesthetic errors keep Kew Gardens surgical mistakes attorneys so busy? Perhaps it’s because studies have shown this particular medical discipline to be the one most open to human error.

A BMJ Quality and Safety study was undertaken in 2002 to examine what kinds of errors led to anesthesia-related surgical mistakes. It showed the most common associated factors for anesthetic errors to be human error as opposed to equipment failures. Among the factors most commonly cited were:

  •          Inadequate experience
  •          Unfamiliarity with administering equipment
  •          Ineffective communication with the surgical team
  •          Impatience and haste
  •          Inattentiveness
  •          Overdependence on other medical personnel

As a patient, it’s often difficult to speak with your anesthesiologist directly about your concerns because typically the first and only time you meet him or her is as you’re being prepped for your procedure. However, you can share those concerns with your surgeon prior to your procedure. You should also make sure he or she knows all of the medications that you are allergic to lest concentrations of one end up in your anesthetic agent. 

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