Surgical Error

Woman’s Ovaries Accidentally Removed During Surgery

February 27, 2020 by Carrie Capouellez
Surgeon

A woman’s life was changed forever due to a surgical error. The patient was scheduled to have a hysterectomy to remove her uterus and a bladder repair after suffering from severe stomach cramps. It was not until the weeks following the procedure that she learned her fallopian tubes and ovaries were removed in addition to her uterus. The patient never authorized the surgeon to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, and claims she was told repeatedly that her ovaries were still intact and in good health. While this is just one illustration of the dangers of surgical error, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University, at least 250,000 people die annually due to surgical errors, making medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Medical Mistakes

Johns Hopkins University reported medical errors – even though they are already ranked as a leading cause of death – have been historically underreported across the country. Since the medical coding system benefits physician billing rather than collects an accurate snapshot of the state of the nations health system, the majority of patients are unaware of the dangers even routine procedures carry. Surgical errors are often referred to as “never events,” because they should not occur under any circumstances.

Most Common Never Events

Surgical errors, or never events, are more common than most patients know. While there are many potential causes of never events, statistically the most common include the following:

Wrong Site Surgical Error

 A wrong site surgery occurs when a physician operates on the wrong body part. Wrong site surgeries can involve the amputation or removal of an incorrect limb or organ.

Wrong Procedure

When a physician performs the wrong procedure on a patient, critical time needed to correct the patient’s original issue is lost. Wrong procedure surgical errors inflict unnecessary pain and injury on patients. More than likely, a patient will have to undergo additional procedures, including the intended original surgery, to correct the error.

Foreign Object in Body

When a physician leaves a foreign object in a patient’s body, it can be a deadly mistake. Surgeons can leave items such as gauze, scalpels, clamps, sponges, or other medical tools inside of a surgical site. Typically, patients need to undergo further surgery to have the foreign object removed. Foreign objects left inside a patient’s body can lead to severe infection and even death.

Anesthesia Error

An anesthesiologist has one of the most important jobs during a medical procedure. These medical specialists administer anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery. When given the incorrect dosage or drug, patients can die within minutes of being put under. Additionally, patients given an incorrect dosage can wake up during a procedure or feel the entire surgery as it is happening.

Nerve Damage

The slightest miscalculated movement by a surgeon can result in irreparable nerve damage, leading to chronic pain, disability, and even partial or complete paralysis.

Surgical Error Attorneys

Patients undergoing surgery already have enough worries and stress without having to worry about their medical providers making mistakes. Physician negligence during surgery inflicts unnecessary pain and suffering on patients and their loved ones during an already difficult time. If you or someone you know has been the victim of surgical error, contact our hospital negligence attorneys immediately to discuss your options at no charge. Time limitations apply to your potential malpractice claims, so do not delay in contacting a lawyer to find out what your legal options are.

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