Surgery patients are among the most vulnerable in the entire hospital. Unless they're just having a minor surgery done with only a local anesthetic, the patient will have to undergo general anesthesia. They are literally at the mercy of the doctors and nurses while they are unconscious from the anesthetic,
Closing a surgical wound correctly is an essential step to making sure that a patient is not exposed to bacteria or other infectious agents too openly. Sutures are meant to keep the wound closed and sealed until the body heals on its own. In most cases, sutures are strong enough to allow patients to get up or walk around, depending on where they are, and are intended to be taken out before 21 days. Sometimes, in rare cases, they'll stay in longer.
When a medical team is taking you into an operating room, they should have all the information they need to keep you safe. They should know the procedure. They should know your allergies and intolerances. They need to know who you are and any information about you that could complicate the procedure.
Imagine waking up from surgery to remove a diseased kidney only to be told that the surgeon accidentally excised the healthy organ and left the diseased kidney in place. Now, you are facing a lifetime on dialysis.
Waking up from a surgery and learning that you had an operation on the wrong area of your body or finding out that you need a second surgery to remove an object left inside you can be horrifying. You put your life and health in your medical team's care, and you expected them to treat you appropriately.
When a patient goes through surgery, the goal is always to remove all tools and sponges from the patient's body before the surgery is completed and the patient is stitched up. Unfortunately, there are many cases in which patients deal with infection and other complications because of items that have been left behind.
It's hard to imagine that it would happen to you, but surgical mistakes do happen to innocent patients every day. Whether it's leaving a tool inside a newly sutured wound or giving a patient the wrong medications while under anesthesia, surgical errors have the potential to be extremely dangerous.
Having surgery is a major event. Patients are understandably apprehensive about the outcome, especially if an organ is being removed. After all, all sorts of problems can develop when the surgeon operates.
It's a dirty secret of the medical community that easily preventable errors happen all too frequently. Those in the know believe that roughly 200,000 patients die annually here in America because of medical errors that never should have occurred.
Surgical errors can have a negative impact on patients in a number of ways, but one of the most serious risks is ending up with an infection. Post-surgical infections can result from medical errors, such as leaving a sponge in the body. That infection can turn into sepsis, which has the potential to be life-threatening.