Taking a look at surgical error statistics

From emergency room errors to misdiagnosis, medical professional negligence takes many forms. However, surgical errors are often particularly devastating for victims and it is imperative for victims to stand up for their rights. In San Bernardino, and across the state of California, patients who are preparing for surgery should understand the prevalence of these medical mistakes and could benefit from reviewing statistics on surgical errors.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, surgical errors such as wrong-site surgery and incorrect procedures are some of the most frightening medical mistakes that patients experience. While the AHRQ references a study which estimated that surgical errors take place one time for every 112,000 procedures, this study only accounted for surgical procedures that happened in operating rooms. If the study had included surgical procedures performed in other circumstances, such as outpatient surgery, the study may have reported a considerably higher error rate. In fact, a study which used data from the VA discovered that half of all surgical errors involving wrong patients, wrong sites or wrong procedures happened outside of operating rooms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also published statistics on the number of fatalities caused by medical and surgical care complications. The CDC reports that between 1999 and 2009, the number of medical and surgical complication deaths for adults who were 45 to 64 years old declined by 28 percent. However, far too many people of all ages continue to lose their lives over surgical errors and other medical mistakes that never should have occurred.

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