How can you prevent a surgical error?

When you go in for an operation, you expect that the doctors and nurses caring for you will do everything in their power to protect your health and safety. But this does not always happen, and you could become the victim of a serious surgical error.

According to the National Library of Medicine, in the U.S. every year, approximately 4,000 surgical errors occur. To prevent a surgical mistake during your next procedure and protect your interests, take the following steps.

Verify your operation

After you arrive at the hospital, have anyone who provides you with treatment verify who you are and your operation. Before you go in for your procedure, ask that your treating physicians and nurses confirm what operation you are going in for.

Ask questions

Do not be afraid to ask your medical team questions if there is something you do not understand or something you are unsure of. If you overhear something that does not align with what your physician told you, speak up and look into the misconception.

Inquire about safety protocols

Ask your medical team about what procedures and protocols they have in place to prevent surgical errors and other problems in the operating room. Do what you can to make sure that your doctors and nurses follow these procedures prior to your operation.

Even though you may take steps to protect your interests prior to surgery, distractions, poor staffing, incomplete preoperative assessments, wrong labeling and other mistakes can lead to problems during surgery. If you suffered harm because of a surgical error, take steps to protect your right to fair and proper compensation.

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