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How to protect against a surgical error

When you agree to a surgical procedure, you do so with the idea that it'll improve your health. So, the last thing you want to find out is that something went wrong

While there are risks associated with every type of surgery, even those that are deemed minor, some setbacks are avoidable.

Here are some of the steps you can take to protect against a surgical error:

  • Discuss the procedure with your surgeon: Before heading to the operating room, talk to your surgeon to ensure that you're on the same page. This is a good time to ask any last-minute questions or seek clarification.
  • Make sure your surgeon marks the site: When the surgeon performing the procedure marks the site, the chance of a wrong-site mistake is greatly reduced.
  • Review all pre-op documentation: This should outline the scope of the procedure, including the site. If you have any questions about the documentation, address these as far in advance of surgery day as possible.

There's nothing more important to you than your health, and that's why you agree to a surgical procedure in the first place. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to 100 percent guarantee that your procedure will play out as planned.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a surgical error, first discuss what went wrong with your medical team. From there, seek a second opinion to better understand how the error affected you and what you should do next.

As time allows, turn some of your focus toward your legal rights and the opportunity to hold the negligent party responsible for their mistake.

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