Oops! US Doctors Screw Up Surprisingly Often

bad doc

By: Tia Ghose|LiveScience Staff Writer December 21, 2012

Doctors make careless and dangerous errors, like leaving a scalpel in someone’s body after surgery, surprisingly often, a new study finds.

The analysis, published Dec. 19 in the journal Surgery, used malpractice records to find instances in which surgeons operated on the wrong patient or part of the body, or left objects inside the patient after surgery.

Compared to other medical errors, the rate of such of such mistakes in the United States is very low. Still, the study found doctors leave towels, cotton balls, sponges and other surgical equipment inside patients’ bodies about 39 times a week, on average. Doctors operate on the wrong body part 20 times a week and the wrong patient, also 20 times a week. Read full article on Live Science

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