Most likely you or someone you know has had surgery. Some surgical procedures are not necessary but can provide an enhanced quality of life. Other surgeries, however, are potentially life-saving or can prevent significant disability – some being emergency in nature. All surgical procedure carry the potential for doctor errors. But recent research shows some procedures might just be more prone to them.
According to a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), around 3 million patients are admitted to hospitals in the United States for emergency general surgery (EGS). That same study also revealed that of all the emergency surgeries, a mere 7 procedures account for 80% of “admissions, deaths, complications, and inpatient costs attributable to the 512,079 EGS procedures performed in the United States each year”.
Emergency General Surgery Procedures at High Risk for Doctor Errors
According to JAMA, the seven surgical procedures that are leading to such a high percentage of complications, deaths, and expenses are:
- Abdominal adhesion surgeries
- Abdominal area operations.
- Gallbladder removal
- Peptic ulcer surgeries
- Removal of part of the colon
- Small bowel resection
In any surgical procedure, there is always a risk of a bad outcome. It is important to stress that a bad outcome from a surgery does not necessarily mean the patient is a victim of medical malpractice. However, the fact that these procedures are at such high-risk for complications indicates that hospitals and doctors need to increase their focus on keeping their patients safe.
Whether a surgery is elective or emergency, doctors and hospitals are responsible for the safety of their patients. Although not every bad outcome meets the requirements to be considered medical malpractice, any serious injury suffered as a result of one of the 7 surgeries or any treatment should be reviewed by an expert in medical law to be sure. When healthcare providers break the rules and do not meet the standard of care resulting in injury or worse, victims have the right to hold them accountable.
Doctor Errors + Patient Safety