Are Surgical Errors Common?
Medical negligence, including surgical errors, is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The Patient Safety Network reports that “never errors” occur in one out of 112,000 surgeries. The PSN acknowledges that these numbers only include operating rooms in participating hospitals.
When you consider surgical centers, private practices, clinics, and military hospitals, the number of surgical errors is likely much higher.
When Is a Surgical Error Considered Malpractice?
All surgical procedures carry some level of risk. However, reckless or grossly negligent medical providers can be accountable when they deviate from accepted standards of care.
Standard of care refers to the accepted diagnostic and treatment process that a similarly qualified surgeon would practice under the same or similar circumstances.
Medical negligence is not limited to performing surgery on the wrong side, body part, or patient. Any deviation from accepted standards of medical care could be grounds for medical malpractice. For example, leaving tools, gauze, or other materials inside a patient.