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Preventing dangerous surgical mistakes

People in New York City typically do not like going to the doctor. Going through surgery can be even more agonizing. However, most people are reassured by the fact that doctors are well-trained and experienced. People assume they will receive quality care and treatment.

According to a recent CNN report, however, more than a quarter million people die as a result of a medical error. Many other people suffer injuries and complications. People may feel helpless, but there are ways for patients to prevent errors.

Some doctors and hospitals have been guilty of operating on the wrong patient. Most often that error is a result of hospital staff members failing to properly confirm a patient's identity. Patients can be sure that mistake is not made by ensuring hospital staff check their hospital bracelet as well as verify their name and birth date before any kind of procedure.

Many New York readers have probably read about stories in which surgical instruments have been left inside a patient during surgery. Surgical patients who experience pain, swelling or fever after a procedure should consult with their doctor right away to determine whether or not hospital staff failed to properly count the surgical instruments used during surgery.

In addition to operating on the wrong patient, surgeons have been known to operate on the wrong body part. In order to prevent that from happening, patients should verify with the surgeon which body part they will be operating on.

Sadly, medical mistakes happen frequently, and patients may be left with serious injuries as a result. Fortunately, victims of malpractice have legal options to pursue in order to hold negligent medical professionals responsible.

Source: CNN, "10 shocking medical mistakes," John Bonifield and Elizabeth Cohen, Nov. 5, 2012

Our firm works with victims of surgical errors. For more information, please visit our New York City surgical mistakes page.

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