Study: Post-surgical errors cause injury, death

Friday October 19, 2012

In a recent study on the frequency and effects of post-operative errors, researchers uncovered some startling information. Not only does such surgical malpractice occur, but it is actually fairly common. What is most unsettling, however, is the fact that post-surgical errors cause additional injury or illness – and sometimes even death – in more than 50 percent of the situations in which they occur.

In the study, researchers monitored 50 surgical patients at a large teaching hospital over the course of two years. All of the patients had undergone non-emergency surgery on their digestive tract. The researchers found that a total of 352 mistakes were made in those 50 patients’ post-operative treatment. This means that each patient experienced an average of four to five mistakes following their surgical procedure.

Common errors include improper drug administration, lack of timely delivery of test results and insufficient patient instructions. The researchers found that more than half of those post-operative mistakes caused patients’ hospital stay to be extended.

The researchers also found than 250 of the post-surgical errors were caused by “process failures,” which included delays in patient assessment or treatment and lack of sufficient communication between hospital staff members, among other things. Because of the nature of those failures, researchers concluded that 85 percent of them were largely preventable.

This study makes it clear that hospitals need to do more to prevent post-surgical errors. The researchers recommend two methods for doing so. First, they say that read-backs, in which medical providers repeat one another’s instructions in order to ensure that they are communicated accurately, could significantly improve communication between doctors and nurses. Second, they say that using surgical checklists could cause up to a 50 percent decline in surgery-related infections.

Source: Reuters, “Study finds errors in post-surgery care are common,” Kerry Grens, Oct. 2, 2012

Get in Touch

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until you receive a settlement or a jury award.

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Connecticut personal injury lawyer today.

News & insights
The Negative Impact of Tailgating
Articles

The Negative Impact of Tailgating

9

August
2022

Common Causes of Construction Lawsuits
Articles

Common Causes of Construction Lawsuits

12

July
2022

The Leading Causes of Trucking Accidents
Articles

The Leading Causes of Trucking Accidents

12

July
2022

Medical Misdiagnosis: What Is It and How To Handle It
News

Medical Misdiagnosis: What Is It and How To Handle It

11

June
2022

The Role of Lack of Informed Consent in Medical Malpractice
Articles

The Role of Lack of Informed Consent in Medical Malpractice

11

June
2022

How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Articles

How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

10

June
2022

Connecticut Auto Accident Laws to Be Aware Of
Articles

Connecticut Auto Accident Laws to Be Aware Of

9

June
2022

How Liability Is Determined for Defective Products
Articles

How Liability Is Determined for Defective Products

26

May
2022

The Most Common Personal Injury Cases
Articles

The Most Common Personal Injury Cases

24

May
2022

How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Articles

How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You

22

May
2022