Luke Dow Law Firm

What Are the Most Common Surgical Errors? Austin Injury Lawyer Investigates

By Luke Dow on March 21, 2016

Despite advances in surgical techniques, medical malpractice is still common. In fact, at least 98,000 people die because of medical malpractice every year, according to MedMalFacts.

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Preventable surgical errors can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. Doctors may operate on the wrong patient, leave foreign objects inside patients, or commit other acts of negligence that can be potentially fatal. These errors happen roughly 40 times in American hospitals every week.

If you or a loved one was the victim of a health-care worker’s negligence in Texas, contact the Luke Dow Law Firm. Mr. Dow is a personal-injury attorney in Austin who can handle the legal side of your lawsuit so you can focus on recovery. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Call 512-518-4104 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit to learn more about medical negligence laws in Texas.

Here is a brief overview of the five most common surgical mistakes:

  1. Operating on the Wrong Patient
Due to poor communication among hospital staff, surgeons sometimes operate on the wrong patients. This can happen due to a lack of patient verification prior to surgery. The consequences are often fatal, and some victims lose healthy organs and limbs.
  1. Leaving Foreign Objects inside Patients
According to WebMD, doctors in the United States mistakenly left foreign objects inside patients 39 times every week between 1990 and 2010. Gauze, sponges, towels, pads, clamps and even scalpels have been left inside patients.

These objects can cause severe infections and other complications. Following standard surgical procedures, such as completing material checklists, can prevent these errors.

  1. Operating on the Wrong Part of the Body
Doctors operate on the wrong body part approximately 20 times per week. They remove healthy organs, leaving diseased ones behind. Sometimes physicians remove the wrong leg or arm. These mistakes are disfiguring and can greatly diminish a victim’s quality of life and independence.


  1. Anesthesia Mistakes
Anesthesia mistakes are often fatal. If the patient receives too much anesthetic, he or she can suffer life-threatening oxygen complications. If the dose is too low, the patient may awake to the agony and horror of surgery.
  1. Scalpel Mistakes
Inattentive doctors may accidentally cut a major nerve or artery. The wrong incision can result in devastating problems including brain damage, paralysis, damaged nerves and harm to the spinal cord. Many of these patients spend the rest of their lives battling serious health complications.

If you were injured by a negligent physician in Texas, contact the Luke Dow Law Firm. Mr. Dow is an injury lawyer in Austin who can assess your case to determine if you may have a legitimate claim.

As the victim of a doctor’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for health-care bills, lost income and other damages. Also, bringing a claim could prevent other patients from suffering the same trauma. Call 512-518-4104 to schedule a consultation.






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