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What are the most common surgical errors?

Knowing that you need surgery can be stressful and terrifying. Often, no matter how much reassurance you receive, you know a long list of things can go wrong while you are on the operating table.

Every year, doctors make dozens of mistakes while performing surgery. While you may want to make allowances for a human making a mistake, some of these errors can have severe consequences.

These are some of the most common mistakes that doctors make during surgery.

Oops, not there

After the time spent on consultations to determine the need for surgery, it would seem like working on the wrong site would be a rare occurrence. However, once you are in the operating room and covered in a hospital gown, a surgeon in a hurry may mistake one site for another or may be thinking about another patient.

One way that surgeons avoid “wrong site” errors is by marking where they are supposed to operate. In some cases, medical team members will also “sign off” next to the site after the operation is complete.

Something left behind

Surgeons use many tools while they are performing a medical procedure. Since the operating room can be a tense and busy place, there are times when the doctor may leave one of the tools behind, most often sponges.

While there are typically checklists to ensure that all of the tools are accounted for after surgery, there are times when no one will notice that one of the surgical implements is missing.

Knowing what to do

It is essential to pay attention to how you feel after your surgery. If something does not feel right, it is better to seek support from your medical care team so that you can receive treatment as soon as possible.