When Louisiana residents are under the care of a medical professional, they expect the highest quality treatment possible, especially when surgery is involved. Lake Charles surgeons are held to a standard of care agreed upon in the medical community. The standard of care typically requires a medical professional to use the same skill and care that a reasonably competent doctor in the field would use. If surgeons fail to do so, they may be guilty of medical malpractice.

The reality is that many surgeons do not adhere to the standard of care required of them. A recent study looked into some of the surgery errors that occur during medical procedures. The study looked at 275 surgeries performed at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which is Harvard-affiliated. The study found that medication errors occurred in nearly half of the surgical procedures and that one-third of these errors resulted in injury to the patients or adverse drug events. Nearly 80 percent of these errors were deemed preventable.

The study indicated that some of the most common errors that occurred included: administering the wrong dosage; mistakes with documentation and labeling; and failure to treat a problem indicated by the patient’s vitals. Longer surgeries lead to a higher likelihood of medication errors, especially those over six hours long.

MGH is considered to be a top hospital when it comes to patient safety, so the study indicates that the medication error rate at other hospitals will likely be higher than the rate found at MGH. In fact, recent studies show that up to 400,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors. Medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States; only heart disease and cancer cause more deaths.

Source: Forbes, “Disturbing New Study Finds Medication Errors in Half of All Surgeries,” Robert J. Szczerba, Oct. 27, 2015