Considering surgery is already a serious circumstance, mistakes during the procedure could have a life-threatening impact on you. Protecting yourself from errors requires a basic knowledge of what these errors look like.

Open and honest communication with your doctor can clarify expectations and build trust. Following protocols for surgical preparations can also improve your safety and awareness.

Doctor fatigue and long hours

Many medical professionals work long hours and see more than one patient each day. Without adequate breaks and rest between procedures, your surgeon will be at a much higher risk of making a mistake. According to CNBC, statistics show that medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of fatalities in the United States.

You can ask your doctor if there will be other procedures performed on the same day as yours. You can express concern about your safety and ask about which measures the medical staff plan to take to reinforce support and help the surgeon perform a seamless procedure.

Miscommunication or misunderstanding

Another common cause of surgical errors is miscommunication. Prior to your surgery, you should have a consultation to discuss the procedure and receive information about what to expect. During this conversation, your surgeon should explain exactly which part of your body will undergo the operation.

On the day of your scheduled procedure, your surgeon should visibly mark your body and ask for your consent before administering any anesthetic drugs. Once you confirm the accuracy, the surgery will happen.

Surgical errors are much less likely when you and your health care team work together to keep you safe. With a joint effort, you may feel more confident and more prepared for a successful surgery.