Going in for surgery can be terrifying. We’ve all heard horror stories on the news and portrayed in the movies, which can leave us afraid that we’ll come out of an operation worse off than when we went in. Although some experts report that these fears are unfounded, claiming that surgical errors are extremely uncommon, the statistical occurrence of these “never events” may be much higher than previously thought. Additionally, those who are injured or killed by one of these event care very little about how common or rare they are.

Despite the fact that one study found that surgical errors may only occur in one out of every 112,000 operations, this statistic only includes those procedures that occur in an operating room. When consideration is given to procedures conducted in a different setting, then the rate may be much higher. In fact, one recent study found that approximately half of surgical errors occur in a setting other than the operating room, such as during ambulatory surgery or some types of radiology.

Many efforts have been made to curtail surgical errors, which can include a wrong-site surgery, an operation on the wrong patient, and the wrong operation on the right patient, but these efforts have failed to fully stop this medical malpractice. Medical professionals have even taken to signing the part of a person’s body where an operation is to occur, and take a time out before beginning a procedure to double-check that the correct procedure is being performed on the right patient.

Tragically, these easily preventable errors can be fatal. Family members of those who are killed by medical malpractice can be left with serious emotional and financial hardship. They may be not only saddened by their loved one’s unexpected loss, but also angry at those responsible for the death and fearful for their own future. By pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, these families may be able to find the accountability, closure, and peace of mind they desperately deserve. Those who wish to learn more about taking legal action against negligent medical professionals and their employers may want to contact a legal professional of their choosing.