Why do so many surgical errors happen?

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To a Houston patient, the steps leading up to the surgical procedure they need to get healthy may seem very simple. They know exactly what their ailment is, exactly what their doctors have decided for their treatment, and exactly when they must arrive at the hospital to have the surgical procedure that will set them on the course to recovery. They may have single-mindedness about their medical plan and what must be done to complete it.

Doctors, however, do not have the luxury of this unwavering focus. They often see many patients in a single day and surgeons may perform multiple varying surgeries within a few hours of each other. This is not an excuse for medical professionals; surgeons and other doctors have a duty to provide each and every one of their patients with the appropriate care.

Surgeons often fail their patients and miss meeting their duties of care because they are under time pressures. They may have heavily scheduled days and may, therefore, make errors during important procedures because they are concerned about getting to their next patient. Doctors who are rushed fail to communicate properly and can overlook important information about what their patients require.

Surgeons can also make surgical mistakes when they must perform multiple surgeries on a single patient or must work with others on surgical procedures. When a doctor shares responsibilities with others or has more than one surgical event happening at once, they may get lost in their work and make careless, dangerous mistakes.

This post provides no medical or legal advice. It introduces some of the causes of surgical errors in American hospitals and clinics. All victims of surgical mistakes should seek legal counsel to protect their rights to pursue compensation in the future.