Surgical Mistakes
"Doctor in Pompton Lakes performing surgery without training, AG complaint alleges"
~ Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Windsor hospital CEO blames human error for unnecessary surgery"
~ Friday, May 4th, 2012 Toronto Star

"Ops oops! Hospitals own up to four errors"
~ Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 Leicester Mercury

According to projections based on a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services, infections, surgical mistakes, and other medical injury contributes to the deaths of 180,000 hospital patients each year. Another 1.4 million are seriously injured by their hospital care. Alarmingly, these figures only apply to Medicare patients. What happens to other patients is less clear because most hospital errors go unreported.

"There is an epidemic of health-care harm...more than 2.25 million Americans will probably die from medical harm in this decade. Thatís like wiping out the entire populations of North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Itís a man-made disaster," says Rosemary Gibson, a patient-safety advocate and author.

The following are some of the top surgical mistakes made in hospitals today:

Hospitals operating on or treating the wrong patient: If your identity is mixed up with someone elseís, you could be given the wrong surgery. This can lead to unnecessary pain and suffering as well a longer hospital stay.

Surgical souvenirs: Surgeons and staff miscounting or failing to count equipment during your procedure, leaving behind surgical tools or other objects. The New England Journal of Medicine found that about 1,500 Americans have objects left inside of them following surgery every year.

Air bubbles in the blood: If you have a chest tube removed incorrectly and your chest isnít sealed, air bubbles can enter the wound and cut off blood supply to your lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain. This is a life-threatening event.

Doctors operating on the wrong body part: This can happen to anyone. Surgeons can misread your chart, surgical draping can cover marks made on your body to indicate where the surgery is to be performed, and various other types of mistakes can lead to the wrong procedure being performed.

Look alike medical tubing: Unfortunately, many varieties of medical tubing are interchangeable and easily connectable. This means that it is very simple to misconnect a feeding tube to an intravenous line, or IV fluids to an oxygen tube. With nurses working overtime or covering too many patients at once, it is all to easy to connect a tube improperly, often times leading to a fatal outcome for the patient. There have been reported cases where a spinal anesthetic used for pain relief during child birth was mistakenly put into a vein, killing the patient. A healthy young pregnant woman and her unborn daughter died after a feeding tube was mistakenly connected to an intravenous line, sending the liquid food directly into her veins.

Unclean or unsanitary procedures: Hospital acquired infections are alarmingly common and sadly they can be deadly. In the United States, more than 2 million people are affected by hospital-acquired infections each year and a whopping 100,000 people die as a result.

Waking up during surgery: If you receive an under-dose of anesthesia, your brain may be "awake" even if you can't move your muscles. Unable to move or speak, you may still feel the surgery taking place, resulting in unnecessary pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a surgical mistake, it is important that you call an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call Grabb & Durando. Our attorneys will fight for your rights and help ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
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