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Study shows patient danger from surgical error

Patients in Illinois and their families are aware of the dangers of any kind of surgical procedure. Even the most common and seemingly routine operations can have inherent risks. One that people don't often consider is that a negligent surgeon may commit medical malpractice and cause injury or death to the patient. It is important to be aware of certain mistakes that doctors and their staffs are prone to make.

A recent study has found that medication mistakes happen in nearly half of the procedures that were examined. These have involved errors with how drugs were labeled, dosage mistakes, mistakes made when documenting what drugs were administered and a failure to address changes to the patient's vital signs while the surgery was in progress. Out of 277 surgical procedures, there was an adverse drug event in 124 of them. Since many patients receive more than one drug while being operated on, there were 193 medication mistakes out of 3,675 administrations of medication. Approximately 80 percent of these were found to have been avoidable.

The authors of the study believe that proper safety procedures are not adhered to as strictly when the surgery is underway since there are often rapid decisions that need to be made. The study looked at procedures that were conducted at a large hospital in 2013 and 2014. If there was a drug error, it was recorded from the time the patient was in pre-op to post-surgery. They found that more than 5 percent of patients were subjected to a drug mistake. Two out of every three of the errors were deemed to have been serious. Two percent caused patients to have their lives put in danger. None died.

Since this was a relatively small study, it highlights the potential dangers to those who are having surgery across the country. Countless mistakes could be made and missed for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the victim or the family of the victim might not even realize that the injury suffered by the patient occurred because of an error made while in the hospital before, during or after surgery. In order to have a firm grasp on a potential surgical error, it is important to have legal help for a full investigation with an experienced attorney.

Source: CBS News, "Medication errors common during surgery, study finds," Alan Mozes, Oct. 26, 2015

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