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Why do surgical errors happen?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Surgical Errors

The criticalness of the medical field does not provide room for errors. A single mistake can lead to life-threatening consequences. Unfortunately, errors occur in this industry, and to make it worse, in the operating rooms. In the U.S., at least 4,000 surgical errors occur each year, which is alarming. 

Surgical errors can occur due to different factors. Here are three of them:


Surgery is one of the medical fields that require top-notch specialization. Due to the complexity of the human body, a surgeon must have an in-depth understanding of the site to be operated on to perform a procedure. 

A surgeon who is not trained, or at least properly, to handle a particular operation should not do so. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A surgeon may perform a procedure they lack skills in instead of informing the patient/ their loved ones to seek the services of a skilled practitioner. 

Poor preoperative planning

Preoperative planning is key to a surgery’s success. Weeks before your operation, the surgeon should obtain vital information, including anatomical and medical history. They should also inform you of the steps to follow before your surgery.

On the other hand, surgeons should understand your anatomy and medical history (medical conditions, medications, existing injuries and so on), identify the desired result and have the needed equipment and tools ready.

A lack of or insufficient preparative planning can lead to mistakes or delays during the procedure, which can be dangerous.


Surgery can take hours, which can be exhausting. Thus, it can be challenging to perform several procedures daily. But this is the case with some hospitals due to understaffing. Medical centers should only admit the number of patients they can treat competently or hire more physicians.

If you or your loved one suffered a surgical error, it can help to get legal guidance to protect your rights.  


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