Everyone knows that doctors work long hours. Surgeons, however, reported the highest average hours of on-call time per week: 72.5 hours. Whether due to being overworked, or some other negligent act, surgical errors can result in a serious form of medical negligence, resulting too frequently in serious scarring, amputation, paralysis and death. Sometimes the wrong body part or organ is operated on, or sometimes the surgeon fails to follow simple standard procedures, which can also have devastating consequences, such as:
- The failure to count surgical instruments at the end of a procedure can result in a patient having tools or sponges left in them.
- The failure to clamp arteries prior to surgery can result in massive internal bleeding.
- Anesthesia errors.
Surgical mistakes can occur anywhere in the chain of surgical care – from inadequate preoperative examinations that fail to reveal surgical complications, to mistakes during surgery, to the failure to adequately care for a patient post-operatively (particularly if there was a complication during surgery). But what makes these mistakes negligent is that they were preventable, had the healthcare provider simply given the appropriate attention to his or her work. You have to pay attention when you drive, and doctors have to pay attention when they operate, it is that simple.