When you think of surgical procedures, you might think of something that doctors plan with great precision. After all, when you are trusting your life to the hands of a surgeon and their team, you want to be sure that there will be no mistakes.
Sadly, even the most trustworthy people do the wrong things from time to time. This also applies to medical professionals. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), these mistakes only happen in about one in 112,000 procedures, but you should still understand what can happen.
When a surgeon mistakenly identifies another part of the body as the correct one in their mind, they might end up operating on the wrong thing. The AHRQ reported that 59% of these mistakes happen when a surgeon focuses on the wrong side of the body. This type of error can have devastating consequences.
There have been cases where a surgeon confuses one patient for another. For instance, a surgeon may grab a kidney intended for one patient and put it in you, or they may mix up your blood type with someone else’s. These mistakes are very serious, as you could wind up undergoing the wrong procedure.
Surgical mistakes happen, but they are rare. To minimize the risk of experiencing one, be sure to do your research before going under the knife. When searching for a surgeon, do not just look at their accolades; ask to see their malpractice record, as well. The more you know going into the surgery, the better off you should be.