Hospital Nightmares: The Worst Types of Surgery Errors

Posted on November 20, 2015 by Shapiro Law Group


A Boston man is accusing a local hospital of causing his wife’s cancer to spread throughout her abdomen. In an interview with the local press, the husband argued doctors accidently operated on what they thought was a benign tumor. It turns out the tumor was not benign, and after the operation, the cancer spread throughout her organs. There are other examples of surgical errors that have cost patients their lives, peace of mind or independence.

  • Operating on the wrong body part can have terrifying consequences for patients. Patients can have the wrong limb amputated, the wrong kidney removed or the wrong hemisphere of the brain operated on. In many cases, these errors are responsible for causing permanent disabilities or death. Even worse, is that these types of mistakes are common. A study from the Joint Commission discovered “wrong-site” surgeries occur 1,300 to 2,700 times per year.
  • We recently wrote a blog on anesthesia awareness, where patients awaken during surgical procedures. Anesthesia awareness can occur when surgeons do not provide patients with a proper dosage of anesthetics. A 12-year-old patient undergoing orthodontic surgery described the aftereffects of waking up during the procedure. According to the girl, she has post-traumatic stress disorder and reoccurring nightmares about her experience.
  • Plastic surgery disasters regularly fill newspaper and magazine cover photos at the supermarket checkout line. In some cases, cosmetic procedures can be fatal for patients. Liposuction deaths, while rare, still occur in between 20 to 100 deaths for every 100,000 procedures. In other cases, patients can be left disfigured.

Are Surgery Errors Preventable?

Surgeons have the necessary information to know which part of the body is undergoing an operation. Anesthesiologists know the proper dosages of anesthetics. These professions require years of education and a personal obsession with accuracy.

While the purpose of our blog is not to scare readers, it is important that patients be informed on the risks associated with certain procedures.

Tags: HospitalSafety


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