Having to have surgery can be a scary proposition, even if the procedure is a minor one. Not only is the experience itself intimidating, but the incidents of surgical error that occur every day in medical facilities all over the country compound many patients’ uneasiness about the risks they are facing in their own procedure. And those fears may not be without validity.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there are seven surgical procedures that are responsible for the majority of surgical error incidents and account for almost 80 percent of the procedures performed in this country.
Emergency General Surgery
Emergency General Surgery (EGS) is the term used to describe those procedures performed on the most ill and has the highest risks to the patients. These surgeries also have the highest costs. There are approximately 3 million patients who undergo EGS procedures each year in this country. According to data collected by the study:
- Patients who undergo EGS are eight times more likely to die following the surgery than patients who undergo elective surgery.
- At least half of all EGS patients develop complications following the procedure.
- Within 30 days of the procedure, 15 percent of EGS patients are readmitted to the hospital.
The study also found that the surgeries which had the most fatalities were:
- Removal of part of the colon (partial colectomy)
- Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy)
- Appendix removal (appendectomy)
- Peritoneal adhesion removal
- Small-bowel resection
- Peptic ulcer surgeries
- Abdominal incisions (laparotomy)
The most frequent complications that patients suffered from these procedures were internal bleeding, infections, shock, and adhesion.
What Is the Responsibility of Medical Staff?
All medical personnel owe a duty of care to each and every patient. When a patient is undergoing an EGS, it becomes even more critical for everyone involved in the patient’s care to pay attention to detail in order to prevent the patient’s death. Steps that should be taken include:
- Ensuring that they and all equipment are sterilized and prepared.
- Carrying out the pre-planned procedure.
- Utilizing the hospital team appropriately.
- Monitoring patient stats.
- Carefully performing postoperative care.
Contact an NC Surgical Error Attorney Today
We put our trust in our physicians and surgeons that they will heal us, not harm us. Surgical errors are preventable, and the damage they cause can change a person’s life forever. If you have been injured because of a surgical or medical error, or have lost a loved one due to medical staff mistakes, contact a compassionate North Carolina surgical error attorney to discuss what legal options may be available to you.
The legal team at Shapiro & Appleton has successfully represented many clients and their families who suffered serious injury or illness because of the negligence or carelessness of a doctor or other medical staff.
Our North Carolina medical error attorneys understand the overwhelming stress these types of mistakes can have on families and work diligently to obtain financial compensation because of the harm victims suffered when medical staff failed to provide the necessary medical treatment. Call 800-752-0042 for your free case evaluation and to find out how we can help.