Preventable Surgical Errors

Before, during, and after an operation, physicians and medical staff have established protocols they must follow to prevent serious injuries and surgical mistakes. However, these protocols are not always followed, leaving patients with injuries that should have been prevented. An error can be made by a surgeon, nurse, radiologist, or anesthesiologist who deviates from these professional standards or is negligent when performing a procedure.

Examples of surgical errors include:

Surgical tool errors: If the scalpel accidentally severs or even nicks an important artery or tendon, the result can be significant bleeding that leads to permanent loss of function or even death.

Anesthesia errors: If your anesthesiologist incorrectly administers a general or local anesthetic, this can lead to permanent brain injuries or nerve damage.

Catheter injuries: The improper insertion of a catheter can harm your blood vessels, damage your nerves or introduce air into your bloodstream that can cause serious consequences like a stroke, heart attack or embolism.

Incorrect operations: While these are rare, when a surgeon is careless and operates on the wrong body part, it is tragic. This mistake is often the result of pre-operative negligence by the surgical staff.

If you suspect that your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse, immediately notify the head of the nursing home and document it in writing. Ask the head of the organization to investigate and call you. Then:

  • Make more frequent, unexpected visits
  • Keep a close eye on the abused person
  • Document and photograph any bruises, cuts or bedsores
  • Follow up on your request with the head of the nursing home
  • Document what you are told and other things you observe at the home
  • Make a note of how the staff acts towards you
  • Talk to your loved one and other residents about signs

The first thing that you should look for when visiting nursing homes is at the staffing levels. It is critical that a nursing home is well staffed. This being because a vast majority of problems that can occur in a nursing home setting, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and even malnourishment occur almost uniformly because of understaffing. However, if there are a sufficient number of caregivers, it becomes difficult for one to ignore or abuse abuse a resident- because others are around and actively monitoring the residents.

 


 
Another thing to be mindful when visiting a nursing home is how the staff members interact with patients. Pay close attention to how the staff speaks to and handles the patients. Are they using their names? Do the staff members seem to know the patients or, given high turnover, are they strangers? The more close interaction you are able to observe, the better sense you’ll have for what type of facility the nursing home is and whether it is one you can entrust with the care of your elderly loved one.