Category Archives: Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can result in serious brain injury, personal injury and death to patients and are medical malpractice.

Are Anesthesiologists Required to Supervise Surgeries?

General anesthesia is necessary for most complex operations. Anesthesiologists are highly trained doctors tasked with administering patients with anesthetics. It may surprise you to learn that anesthesiologists are not always present while operations are underway. In some cases, patients have been harmed by anesthesia errors due to lack of supervision. Nurse anesthetists sometimes observe patients during surgery. These specialists may be highly trained, but they do not undergo the same educational and professional rigors as anesthesiologists. How Are Patients Affected by Anesthesia Errors? Last year, the Houston Press published a story involving a female patient who died during a lap band surgery. The anesthesiologist in charge of the operation administered the anesthetic propofol (the same drug that killed Michael Jackson), but then left the room. A nurse anesthetist remained behind to handle any problems that might arise. Within minutes of starting the operation, the patient was no longer breathing. The…
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What Can Happen to Patients When Surgeons Remove the Wrong Body Part?

Wrong-site surgeries can involve surgeons who remove the wrong body part. A story published by the Los Angeles Times provides a perfect example of how removing the wrong body part can haunt patients for the rest of their lives. In 2006, a 47-year-old Air Force veteran and married father of four was scheduled at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center to have a testicle removed. The veteran had survived testicular cancer almost two decades prior, and fought off the illness with chemotherapy. However, cancer treatments left one of his testicles with little function. Seventeen years after beating cancer, doctors told the veteran that his testicle could become cancerous again if it was not removed. Instead of removing the potentially cancerous left testicle, doctors removed the healthy right one. This left the veteran with only his nonfunctional left testicle. As a result, the veteran was deprived of testosterone, which put him at…
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What Happens When Sponges Are Left Inside of Patients?

Data gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics suggests 5,500 to 7,000 patients have foreign objects left behind after surgery each year. Surgical sponges are one of the worst objects that can be left behind, as they cause excruciating pain and deadly infections. A Los Angeles woman’s horrifying story can serve as an example. In 2007, the woman underwent a hysterectomy and bladder surgery at a local hospital. Three days later, the woman returned to the hospital after experiencing pain. Her problems continued to get worse. Every morning she would wake up dehydrated and nauseous. When she was at work one day, she became faint, started sweating and experienced blurry vision. Four years after her surgery, she began to experience bleeding. Her doctors initially suspected an ovarian cyst and removed her ovaries. Afterwards, her doctors detected a mass in her small intestine. Additional tests revealed that it was not…
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