Surgery Errors and Complications

One study estimates between 1,300 and 2,700 wrong-side/wrong-site, wrong-procedure/wrong-patient events occur in U.S. hospitals every year.

Why do they happen? Two patients with the same name can be mistaken for one another. A patient’s surgical site can be marked on the wrong limb or wrong side of the body. Surgery tools and sponges are accidentally left behind sometimes. Infection is also always a concern, especially at the surgical site — in and around the wound.

Surgery hazards can be deadly: 10% of patients who die within 90 days of surgery do so because of a preventable complication, most often some kind of  infection.

Patients and their family member Care Partners have the power to help prevent these tragedies. Follow our simple, common-sense ideas to help prevent avoidable complications in surgery  from happening to you or someone you love.

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