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Surgical errors lead to additional surgery; 2 deaths reported

Physicians in Illinois and across the country perform surgeries every day at hospitals and medical centers. Many of the procedures are scheduled for specific times, while others may be performed in an emergency, unplanned situation. Whatever the circumstance, patients and their families expect to receive a certain standard of care at a sufficiently staffed facility. A recent investigation conducted at a medical center in another state has determined that surgical errors occurred there due to the facility's inadequate staffing.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that the medical center did not properly staff its operating room between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. The facility was also short-staffed on weekends, according to the investigation. When emergencies occurred, the surgical staff was forced to stop procedures in process and remove the patient from the operating room.

The report stated that surgeries were often delayed because the medical center often scheduled procedures at night. Since there was only one surgery team scheduled in the evening hours, many patients who should have had immediate attention had to wait. The delays caused potential complications to the patients involved.

The investigation revealed two situations when patients died due to delays in surgeries. Another incident involved an interrupted surgery where a surgical instrument was left inside a patient's body. The medical center officials stated that they didn't agree with the report, but complied with the investigation.

When a loved one dies as a result of surgical errors or delays, surviving family members may choose to pursue wrongful death litigation against the physicians and/or medical facilities believed responsible. An Illinois personal injury attorney can evaluate the situation and recommend the best course of action. A successful outcome from a lawsuit may provide families a monetary award that can help them deal with the expense of an unexpected funeral and other financial damages.

Source:, "State cites TRMC, surgeon in two deaths", James Houck, June 16, 2017

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