How Common Are Surgical Errors?

Everybody makes mistakes, but mistakes in the operating room have the potential to maim and kill.

According to research, despite all of the precautions that hospitals and doctors are supposed to take and all the advancements in modern medicine, these kinds of mistakes happen about 4,000 times a year.

What are the leading causes of surgical errors?

Preventable medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in this country, and the best defense that patients have is to empower themselves through education. With that in mind, here are some of the most common causes of surgical injuries:

Communication failures

Whether it’s a neurosurgeon that operates on the wrong part of a patient’s spine, a patient that undergoes a hysterectomy when they were supposed to have an ablation or a doctor who does heart surgery on the wrong patient because they shared a similar name with the right patient, these kinds of mistakes all come down to poor communication.

Forgotten instruments

Surgeons use a variety of instruments during surgery, and it is possible for one to be left inside the patient. A forgotten clamp or sponge or surgical towel can all cause serious complications, such as infection or organ damage.

Anesthesia errors

Overdosing or underdosing a patient with anesthesia can lead to serious complications or even death. Failures to properly monitor a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate and breathing are all common problems – and anesthesiologists sometimes fail to check for drug allergies or previous complications with sedation.


Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are another growing problem in medical facilities, and all it takes is one lapse for bacteria to spread from an unclean instrument or a pair of unwashed hands to a patient’s body.

If you’ve been injured through a surgical mistake or your loved one is killed, you have every right to be frustrated or angry. You also have every right to expect fair compensation for your losses. Experienced legal guidance here in Cleveland, Akron and the surrounding area can help.

Categories: Medical Malpractice