Errors should not occur in the operating room – but they do. It can be worrying to think that a surgeon may perform the wrong procedure, operate on the wrong body part, perform surgery on the wrong patient, leave a foreign object in the body and discharge a patient earlier.
What causes these errors? Here are three contributing factors:
1. Inadequate staffing
A hospital should have a reasonable ratio of surgeons to the number of patients they admit for surgery. A surgeon should have adequate breaks between sessions. This can be impossible when they are required to perform several procedures daily.
They may be exhausted, increasing their chances of making mistakes. Further, they may rush operations to have enough time to complete all the procedures they are scheduled to perform.
2. Poor review processes
In addition to conducting a thorough preoperative evaluation of a patient, surgeons should take time to confirm a patient’s records and communicate with them right before the procedure. Laying eyes on the patient ensures they have the right person and everybody is on the same page.
A surgeon who is exhausted or inadequately trained may skip this step, which means they may fail to notice something critical before heading into the operating room.
3. Not listening to their team
Even though a surgeon may be competent and skilled in making crucial decisions, it helps to listen to the operating room staff. They may notice an issue the surgeon may miss. A surgeon not listening to their team or believing their decision should not be questioned can be dangerous.
Surgical errors can lead to life-threatening consequences. If you have experienced this type of medical malpractice, you should consider your options to receive the compensation you deserve.