Post surgical errors found to be extremely common

Errors following surgery are unfortunately common. According to a study, it is estimated that about half of such errors can lead to serious health issues for the patient. And it is also felt that the current safety protocol of most hospitals will not prevent these types of errors from occurring.

Though this study was conducted in the UK, a doctor from the United States believes these findings would be representative of what is occurring in our nation (and presumably Pennsylvania as well). A number of studies already conducted in the U.S. appear to confirm this assumption.

The study of 50 patients treated for various digestive tract maladies revealed 352 mistakes occurring over an 11 day period. Most of these mistakes were called “process failures,” which is a complicated way of saying that there were mistakes in communication.

These mistakes would have included forgetting the correct time to administer a drug, and another involved a failure to follow up on a procedure due to a report never being sent. Fortunately, none of the mistakes led to any fatality or long term disability.

The most important aspect of this study was that at least 85 percent of the errors located were preventable. And at least 75 percent of those errors were ones that could have led to patient harm.

Medical malpractice lawsuits brought by lawyers and clients often come about when medical staff simply miss the obvious because internal procedures are not in place. Despite their advanced training, these medical workers are human like everyone else and sometimes need to have a second set of eyes to verify whether they are right or wrong.

Source: Reuters, “Study finds errors in post-surgery care are common,” by Kerry Grens, Oct. 2, 2012