How Surgical Errors Occur In Houston


Two surgeons with scalpel and a medical tool working on unconscious patient. In Houston and all throughout the world, hospitals are expected to provide patients with the best possible care. One of the most complex treatment options for a person dealing with an injury, illness, or condition is surgery. There many tools used and people around. Unfortunately, this makes it easier for problems to arise and the potential for errors increases. It is important to understand how these surgical errors occur and what options you have should you be harmed.

Improper Systems

Some hospitals may not have the systems in place to properly care for surgery patients, causing the staff to mix up some of their records. One potential issue that can occur is an error when transitioning the patient from one department to the next. For instance, if a patient enters an emergency room complaining of pain and the form of treatment necessary is surgery, the move from the emergency room to the surgical wing may result in a mix up of patient information.

These types of issues can lead to wrong site surgery where the doctor performs the procedure on a wrong body part. In some cases, the surgeon may perform the wrong procedure completely, or the surgery may be done on the wrong patient. These are just a few of the errors commonly referred to as never events.

Failure to Pay Proper Attention

Surgeries are difficult and require the doctor’s utmost attention in order to ensure the safety of the patient. If the surgeon or any other medical professional is not paying attention when closing up the patient, they can make a critical mistake such as leaving a foreign object in the site of the surgery. This can include items such as gauze, sponges, clamps, scalpels, towels, or any other items that may have been used during the procedure.

Failing to pay attention during recovery can even cause life-threatening issues after a successful surgery. Air embolisms (pockets of air that impede blood flow) enter the bloodstream during surgery and can cause respiratory failure, stroke, or heart attack if recovery units aren’t vigilant. Compartment syndrome is caused by using excessively tight bandaging and can be especially harmful when surgical sites are inflamed or near bone fractures. Spinal cord abscess is a severe and life-threatening infection that can occur due to complications from back surgery. Even minor issues (like letting patients use an IV-drip without supplements) can result in Wernicke’s Syndrome, a severe brain disorder.

In short, the risks and consequences of surgery errors extend past the procedure itself.

Hiring Errors

Hospitals and medical centers need to ensure that they are hiring properly trained and qualified individuals. This is especially true in the case of a surgeon. If a surgeon does not have the proper training, yet the medical facility makes the decision to hire him or her, it can have disastrous results for any patient who may be in the surgeons care.

In any case, sustaining further damage at the hands of a doctor who you are supposed to trust can be traumatic. Patients can experience life-threatening injuries due to the errors made by medical professionals. When this happens, it is important for the patient and his or her family to seek legal counsel to hold the negligent party accountable.

At Hampton & King, we make our clients’ best interests a priority and always work to protect their rights when they need it most. Our Houston medical malpractice lawyers help you seek maximum compensation when you are hurt by a negligent party, including a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or any other party who may have caused you harm.

Call us today for a free consultation and learn more about your potential case.