About 80 times each week, U.S. patients undergoing surgery experience mistakes that safety advocates say never should happen.
The types of errors being made: Surgical instruments such as sponges are unintentionally left behind in the patient; a wrong procedure is performed; a wrong surgical site is operated upon; and surgery is done on the wrong patient altogether.
The weekly error estimate comes from a review of medical liability settlements and judgments from 1990 to 2010 that are collected in the National Practitioner Data Bank, the federal repository of medical liability claims. The findings were published in the December 2012 issue of Surgery.
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