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Surgical errors far more common than most believe

The careless attitude of some surgical teams leads to dire consequences for Denver hospital patients and others throughout the country. According to a recent report, sponges, instruments, needles and other items are left inside patients about 12 times per day across the country. Most healthcare professionals attribute these common surgical errors to human carelessness, but they also agree that there are ways to prevent such problems from happening.

Some hospital surgical teams hold everyone on the team responsible for accounting for all instruments used in surgeries. Others claim that mistakes simply happen because surgical teams are made up of humans. However, many surgical professionals as well as patients feel that doctors and nurses should be held to a standard of perfection, particularly when there are ways to prevent errors such as items left behind in patients after surgery.

Some hospitals employ tracking technology to ensure that no items are left inside patients during or after a surgical procedure. Others are examining the "blame game" that often focuses on surgeons as individuals rather than on teams in the operating room. These advocates for policy change state that human error is unavoidable, so the systems should be fool-proofed to include multiple checks for mistakes.

Victims of medical malpractice or surgical errors may be able to collect damages to pay for increased medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages from jobs and increased recovery and living costs. These victims may benefit from the help of a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney may be able to assist them in recovering monetary damages from doctors, hospitals and others who are involved in the negligence that leads to these errors.

Source: USA Today, "Simple procedures should stop medical errors: Your say,"March 25, 2013

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