Surgical Mistakes Lead to $1 Billion in Payouts Each Year

January 21, 2013
By Kobs & Philley, PLLC on January 21, 2013 5:12 AM |

Post #5 image. 2013-01-03.jpgPatients in Mississippi go to see their doctors because they believe that doing so is the best way to ensure they recover from what's wrong with them. While that's usually true, there are sadly too many cases where turning to a doctor may subject a patient to even worse conditions then when they first walked into the office.

One recent study found that in the surgical world, some 4,000 plus errors happen each year which result in more than $1 billion in medical malpractice payouts. The saddest part of the news is how easily such errors can be prevented. Every single incident was caused by a human, not the result of a tragic illness. Things like leaving a sponge inside a patient's body or operating on the wrong part of the body may sound like tabloid fiction, but unfortunately happen almost every day, maybe even more often than that.

Statistics show that every week a doctor leaves a foreign object inside a patient's body almost 40 times. The wrong body part is operated on 20 times and the wrong procedure is performed 20 times. Such errors are not only financially costly, but physically devastating. Nearly seven percent of cases result in death. Temporary injury occurs in 60 percent of cases while permanent injury occurs in 30 percent of such cases.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Mississippi ought to create safety procedures for such surgeries and ensure that they are followed every single time by doctors, nurses and other medical staff whenever a patient is around. Careful attention to detail is critical and things like checklists prior to surgery are small but important moves that can be made to ensure patient safety.

Beyond hospital behavior, patients should be empowered to speak up if they have any questions or concerns. Some may not want to question doctors, but your health is too important an issue to merely be polite. Doctors should encourage their patients to ask questions and create an atmosphere where communication is allowed.

Those who have suffered injuries at the hand of their doctor should be aware that legal remedies might be available to them. If you would like to speak with a Mississippi medical malpractice attorney about a potential medical malpractice claim, call Mississippi medical malpractice lawyers at Kobs & Philley, PLLC today at (601) 856-7800.

Source: "Thousands of Mistakes Made in Surgery Every Year," by Jennifer Warner, published at ActionNewsJAX.com.

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