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Most common surgical errors

Any Kentucky resident going into surgery has expectations and fears. One of the most frequently asked question is, are surgical errors common? If so, what types of mistakes are made the most frequently?

Unfortunately, surgical errors are more common than anyone would like to admit, as reported by WebMD. However, most of these issues are not life threatening, or can be fixed with minimal hassle. For example, one of the most common errors is leaving an item in the patient, such as a sponge, cloth, or even medical tools. These cases are often easily detected because of patient discomfort or x-rays. The foreign object can be removed after it is detected.

Perhaps more alarmingly, another common error is incorrect operation sites. This means that a patient can go in for surgery on their left knee, and their right knee might be operated on instead. These errors are often detected by the initial problem persisting despite surgery. Sometimes the difference in operation sites can be much greater, however, such as a back surgery being performed on someone who went in for foot surgery. Mistakes to that scale are less common.

Thirdly, the Patient Safety Network reports that wrong-procedure surgery is also a problem that crops up often. This is when a patient goes under for one specific procedure and a different one is accidentally performed instead. Along these lines, it is also possible for one patient’s procedure to be performed on a different patient, which is known as wrong-patient surgery.

While these are alarming facts, it is also important for patients to have the full risks of their operation disclosed before they make their decision to go under the knife.

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