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The Scariest Surgical Errors That Actually Happen

Going into surgery is a nerve-wracking experience. You are placing your well-being in the hands of strangers, whom  you hope have the competency to perform the task you are asking. Most of the time, things go fine and there’s nothing to worry about. But this is not always the case. In fact, 80 cases of surgical-error events that are categorized as “never events” do occur in the U.S. per week. With this in mind, here are three of the scariest surgical errors to watch out for.


What are Never Events?

A “never event” is the term coined for a serious medical error or effect that should never happen to a patient. This means that if proper medical procedures and protocol are followed, these events should never occur, under any circumstance. Still, they do.


Wrong-Side, Wrong-Person, Wrong-Procedure (WSPEs)

This may seem like three errors all wrapped into one, and it kind of is. Essentially, this means a surgery that is performed on the wrong patient, on the right patient but on the wrong side, or just the wrong procedure altogether. These are categorized as WSPEs and, in the world of doctors, they should never happen. The problem is, they do. Each hospital will experience approximately one WSPE occurrence every 5-10 years for a surgical operation. There are a number of reasons this could happen, including a case of patients with similar names, or simple confusion on the part of the performing surgeon. Whatever the case, this is definitely classified as one of the scariest surgical errors on our list.


scariest surgical errors


Foreign Object

I’m sure we’ve all seen an episode of TruTV telling us about a person living with some sort of foreign object left inside them after surgery for a shocking amount of time. Although this may represent the most extreme scenario of foreign objects left inside  a patient after surgery, this occurrence happens more frequently than anyone would like to admit. In fact, 1 in every 1000 abdominal procedures results in a foreign object left inside of a patient. Cotton sponges are the most common instrument left inside a patient, due to their ability to shift within a patient during a procedure and hide from view. While they vary in their degree of severity, foreign objects usually require additional medical attention and surgery to remove and are definitely one of the scariest surgical errors out there.


Austin Medical Malpractice Attorney for Surgical Errors

Although these are the scariest surgical errors that can happen, there are many ways that a patient can be wronged during surgery. If you have been victim to a “never event” or any other surgical error,  contact the Colley & Colley law firm in Austin, Texas online or call us toll-free at 1-866-760-0358 for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injury.