Jackson Medical Malpractice Lawyer Discusses 7 Reasons Why Doctors Make Surgical Errors

Posted: Nov 28, 2016 1:15 PM

Thanks to advancements in medical tools and techniques, surgical complications are far rarer than they were in the past. Unfortunately, mistakes still happen – and patients who fall victim to surgical negligence often endure life-changing consequences.


According to WebMD, surgeons in the United States make more than 4,000 serious errors every year, which cost at least $1.3 billion in medical malpractice payouts. Common examples of surgical mistakes include:

  • Leaving a sponge or other surgical tool inside a patient;
  • Operating on the wrong patient;
  • Operating on the wrong body part; and
  • Removing the wrong limb or organ.

If you or a family member was a victim of surgical malpractice, contact the Law Office of Randolph C. Wood, PLLC. Randolph Wood is your medical malpractice lawyer in Jackson who will evaluate your case, assess doctors’ records and help you recover the maximum compensation.

Call 601-709-3584 to schedule a consultation.

What Are the 7 Most Common Causes of Surgical Errors?

No surgeon intends to injure a patient, but all it takes is a minor oversight to cause serious harm. Nicking a nerve during surgery, for example, could leave a patient without feeling in one or more limbs. Forgetting a sponge inside a patient could cause a potentially deadly infection.

Although there are several reasons why surgical mistakes happen, most cases involve one of these seven factors:

  1. Incompetence: Some surgeons lack the necessary training to perform certain procedures;
  2. Poor Planning: Errors are more likely to happen if the surgical team fails to prepare adequately – for example, if nurses do not count sponges accurately before an operation;
  3. Shortcuts: Doctors or nurses who feel pressured to find a quick and easy solution can make hurried, misguided decisions;
  4. Communication Breakdowns: Many procedures require the carefully orchestrated efforts of a medical team. If one member of that team fails to communicate properly, it could have tragic consequences for the patient;
  5. Fatigue: Overworked surgeons are prone to fatigue, which can impair performance and decision-making;
  6. Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Being a doctor or nurse is a stressful way to make a living. Some medical professionals turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope. If a surgeon or nurse is impaired during an operation, an error is likely to occur; and
  7. Insufficient Patient Monitoring: Many surgical complications could have been avoided if the medical team had monitored the patient’s oxygen levels and other vitals.

A surgical error can have devastating consequences. Some patients suffer permanent physical disabilities that greatly diminish their enjoyment in life.

If you were injured by a negligent surgeon or lost a family member due to surgical malpractice, contact the Law Office of Randolph C. Wood. Mr. Wood will help you recover the maximum compensation for health-care bills, lost wages and non-economic damages. Call 601-709-3584 to schedule a consultation.