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Oregon patients at risk: Surgical errors and other issues

When preparing for surgery, it is typical to meet with an Oregon surgeon, private physician and other members of the medical team ahead of time. During such meetings, the procedure itself might be discussed, as well as other issues, including post-op recovery, medications that might be recommended and rate of success regarding a particular operation. Proactive patients may also want to talk about surgical errors -- in particular, how to avoid them.

Never events are medical incidents that cause patient injuries or death. They are so named because they are preventable and should never happen. Surgical errors top the list for most frequently reported never events.

Wrong-site, wrong-patient and wrong-body part mistakes are among never events that often cause serious injuries (or death) to surgical patients. A person who undergoes anesthesia, of course, has no way of knowing which body part his or her surgeon is operating on at the time. Sadly, many patients are horrified to awaken and learn that such errors occurred while they were unconscious. Readers may be surprised to learn that one of the most common types of OR mistakes involves foreign objects being left inside the bodies of surgery patients.

Medication errors are also a concern in many Oregon medical facilities. Poor communication between shift nurses, clerical errors and other acts of negligence can prove fatal or result in serious adverse health conditions to patients who entrusted their well-being to their medical teams. Any man or woman who has fallen victim to surgical errors or other never events may wish to speak with someone well-versed in medical malpractice law to discuss the possibility of filing a negligence claim in a civil court.

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