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The Biggest Dangers of Surgical Errors

Most people do not require surgery very often, so some people are surprised to discover how many surgeons there are. The United States alone employs more than 761,000 surgeons each year. On top of that, the number of surgeons is expected to grow by about three percentage points every year over the next decade.

Although surgeons can be extremely skilled, performing surgery can also be difficult. As a result, there is always the possibility of an error during surgery.

In some cases, these errors can be serious and cause significant health issues. So what are the biggest dangers when it comes to surgical errors?

Read on to learn about the kinds of surgical errors that can lead to dangerous health consequences!

Communication Problems Cause Many Surgical Problems

Sometimes, simple communication problems lead to huge consequences. The more you understand how managing patients works, the more you will understand how this can happen. For example, patients receive injections and other treatments that seem safe for them, according to their doctors and surgeons.

However, these same treatments can cause serious damage if given to the wrong people. That means that there are millions of injections and other treatments every day that can go terribly wrong if given to the wrong person or performed incorrectly.

For this reason, hospitals and other medical treatment centers are set up to reduce these kinds of errors as much as possible. However, as successful as these efforts are, some mistakes still happen.

What happens if a surgeon accidentally tells someone to administer the wrong medicine? Such a mistake can lead to intense side effects and even death in the worst cases.

Similar problems can show up if a surgeon tells someone to provide the correct treatment to the correct patient, but the person who administrates it makes a mistake and administrates it to the wrong person.

Health Problems Sometimes Results From Anesthesia Errors

Many people do not stop and think about how amazing it is to live in the modern age of anesthesia. For the entire history of humanity before anesthesia, people had to deal with much more suffering and pain while receiving medical treatment.

However, as amazing as anesthesia is, it has a profound effect on the human body. When everything goes well, anesthesia causes people to lose consciousness and stop feeling pain.

However, mistakes sometimes happen during surgery that can lead to anesthesia causing negative side effects. In some cases, people even end up dying because of mistakes made while administering anesthesia. After all, making someone unconscious is not a trivial thing.

Surgical Mistakes Can Occur on the Operating Table

When most people think about surgical errors, they think of those that occur on the operating table. Unfortunately, these can be even harder to protect against and predict.

Surgical errors can occur on the operating table because some surgeries go on for hours and hours. That means that a surgeon often has to work on the same patient for many hours on end without taking a break to relax.

Sometimes, surgeons make mistakes simply by a slip of the hand. This is one of the reasons why surgeons need to be skilled both in a physical and a mental sense.

Along with knowing what to do, surgeons need to be able to execute it with incredible precision. This gets even harder when you account for the high stakes of surgery.

When people learn more about how surgeons are required to perform, they understand better why surgeons sometimes make mistakes. When these mistakes happen, people sometimes lose functionality in their bodies in a permanent way.

Other people end up with temporary or permanent side effects that cause them pain. In the worst cases, an error on the operating table can lead to death.

Doctors Can Err During a Medical Diagnosis

Sometimes, doctors and surgeons make the biggest mistakes during medical diagnosis. Doctors and surgeons have to use imperfect tests to figure out what is causing someone’s health problems. Even when they do their best, they sometimes get the diagnosis wrong.

However, when this happens, the consequences can be dire. Receiving the wrong diagnosis can mean receiving the wrong treatment. Since some treatments have serious side effects, that can be a huge problem all by itself.

However, making a mistake with diagnosis also means not receiving the kind of treatment you actually need. As a result, many people who receive incorrect diagnosis end up with worse health as their problems continue to develop without proper treatment.

Emergency Surgery Leads to More Errors

Emergency surgery is even riskier than regular surgery. Surgeons have less time to prepare. On top of that, the pressure to perform is higher in an emergency.

For these and other reasons, surgeons make more mistakes during emergency surgeries.

All of the mistakes we discuss here happen more often in emergencies. People are more likely to end up with the wrong diagnosis, wrong treatment, or to suffer from mistakes during the surgical process in an emergency.

In most cases, these mistakes are only temporary. But in occasional cases, this can lead to permanent health problems and even death.

Patient Misidentification Can Lead to Health Problems

Surgeons sometimes end up performing what they think is the right surgery but on the wrong patient. There are even cases when surgeons have treated the left arm of a patient when it was the right arm that needed treatment.

Mixing up patients, body parts, and processes can lead to catastrophic health consequences. Sometimes, these mix-ups result in medical malpractice.

Understand the Most Dangerous Surgical Errors

Many people never learn about the potential surgical errors that can occur before, during, and even after an operation. As a result, some may not understand the implications of their choices regarding surgery. Learning more about what can happen during surgery can help you make informed decisions about your health.

To learn more about how the legal system helps manage surgical errors, reach out and get in touch with us at any time!


In short, if you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your case.

Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.