Sometimes surgeons make mistakes that cause you harm. Surgical errors can be serious and you need to know what they are and how to prevent them.

Surgical errors can happen at any point in a medical procedure. These errors are “never events” because these situations should never happen during surgery.

Types of surgical errors

Surgical errors take many forms. A doctor may administer the wrong dose of anesthesia or make a mistake that causes you to develop an infection after the procedure. A surgeon might also conduct an operation meant for another patient or perform surgery on the wrong part of your body. In some situations, a doctor may leave a surgical item inside your body, such as a sponge, a guidewire or a clamp.

Prevention of surgical errors

As a patient, there are a few steps you can take to make sure a surgical error does not happen. According to the Joint Commission, you should make sure you understand everything about your medical procedure. If you have any questions, speak to your doctor so you have all the information you need before you get to the hospital. Make sure you look over all the documentation you receive at the hospital. Your Informed Consent form should include the type of procedure you will undergo, as well as any possible risks. Make sure this information is correct and speak to someone if you find errors.

Medical professionals usually put a mark on your body so the surgeon knows where to operate. You should watch the nurse mark your body so you ensure he or she marks the right spot. If you will be unconscious when this happens, make sure someone else observes this process. Taking each of these precautions can help decrease the possibility that a surgical error will happen. You can find more information about this subject on our webpage.