If you look up "plastic surgery" on the internet, you'll come across a number of horror stories where patients recount how they went in to see a doctor for a simple, routine procedure, yet things didn't go as planned. We can learn a lot about things we should avoid when selecting our own plastic surgeon by simply reading those stories.
Each year across the United States, doctors perform millions of surgical procedures. Many of those take place in outpatient facilities while others require patients to spend the night at their facilities. While in some cases, just a doctor and their nurse will be in the operating room, in other cases there will be a team of medical professionals, each responsible for carrying out tasks.
Of the tens, if not hundreds, of millions of surgical procedures that occur in the United States each year, most involve the use of anesthesia. While a sedative can greatly reduce the amount of pain or discomfort that a patient experiences if it's administered incorrectly, it can seriously injure or kill a patient. At least a quarter of a million Americans die of different types of medical errors each year.
When we hear that someone we know is going to undergo surgery, many of us become paralyzed with fear. The reality is that no matter how skilled a surgeon is, they're never going to perform all procedures error-free each and every time. There are, in fact, many complications that can occur any time that a patient goes under the knife, some of which can be caused by a doctor's negligence.
While many of us could likely list off a number of things that could go wrong on the operating table, most of us wouldn't mention burns. From chemicals to electrical devices though, there are various products or tools that are used in the during surgeries that can seriously hurt a patient.
Doctors and other surgical support staff are trained to conduct "time outs" before making their first incision.
Instances in which foreign objects are left inside patients after a surgical procedure are far from being on the decline. In fact, you may even personally know someone who has been affected by such an event. If you don't, a loved one likely knows a person who has had this happen to him or her.
When a patient is told that he or she will need a surgical procedure performed on him or her to alleviate their symptoms, the patient may often feel confident in knowing that after some rest and recuperation, that he or she will be back to normal once again soon. For as many as 6,000 patients each year in the United States, though, their condition gets even worse after a surgery is performed on them.
There are two kinds of nurses that most often work in an operating room. The perioperative ones are generally registered nurses (RN). Their job is to keep bleeding to a minimum, stitch up wounds and to dress them after the procedure has been completed. The role of the circulating nurse (CN), in contrast, is to prevent surgical errors, provide support to doctors and nurses in the operating room and to advocate for the patient.
A research study, conducted by Johns Hopkins Hospital, shows that medical errors rank third as one of the leading causes of patient deaths in the United States. It's estimated that medical errors result in as many as 250,000 patients losing their lives each year.