Hospital workers aren’t perfect and fatal errors can occur from mistakes they make. Here, find out ways the staff tries to stop surgical errors from happening.

Ways Hospitals Attempt to Prevent Surgical Errors

You Would Laugh, If the Story Weren’t So Tragic

You’ve probably heard the absurd and almost comical stories about patients who go into the operating room expecting one surgery but receiving another. There are notorious examples that have become modern legends, such as the person who received a knee operation on the wrong knee, or the one who was supposed to have a hip operation but received shoulder surgery instead.

Although these stories do provide for some pretty interesting conversations, the sad truth is these types of hospital errors occur all of the time. At best, the patient “only” suffers from unnecessary pain. When the surgery goes wrong, however, the results could be fatal.

How the Hospital Staff Attempts to Prevent These Errors

The Joint Commission—the primary nongovernmental organization responsible for hospital accreditation in the United States—has implemented a system for hospital staffs that is supposed to reduce the amount of wrong-patient, wrong-site errors. Here, we take a look at what nurses, doctors, and other medical employees are supposed to do before surgery:

  • Verify the surgery with the patient. Before you go under the knife, a nurse or doctor is supposed to talk with you about the surgery. This is to make sure both you and the doctor are on the same page. The medical professional will ask you what surgery you are going to receive and where, to ensure that what the staff thinks they are doing and what they are supposed to do are the same.
  • Mark the surgery site. A doctor or nurse will use a marker or pen on your body to identify the surgical site. Doing so ensures the surgical team has the correct location and also gives you a chance to make sure they are marking the appropriate spot.
  • Declare a time out. Before the surgery begins, all of those involved should meet to verify the patient’s identity and the type of surgery that is to occur. This break also gives the staff the chance to resolve any issues they may have before starting the operation.

When the Unthinkable Happens

If a loved one received the wrong surgery and died as a result, you may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim. The attorneys of the Andrew Kim Law Firm understand you want the person who made the fatal error to be held accountable, and we want to help you do that.

Contact us today through our website or by giving us a call to speak with a legal professional about your situation.