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Not many people in Cleveland would think that doctors and surgeons may be responsible for the third-leading cause of death in the United States, but one anesthesiologist speculates that over 250,000 people die each year because of surgical and medical mistakes. In addition, there are millions more who are seriously injured by their doctors. Some of these errors are extremely frightening.

One man’s intestines were perforated after the surgeon left surgical implements in the patient. He had gone in for surgery on his abdomen, but something wasn’t right. Doctors eventually realized they had left a 144 square inch sponge inside the man’s abdomen. By the time it was removed, it had started to rot and caused serious damage to his intestines. Though it is not entirely clear how the sponge was left inside him, the most common cases of surgical equipment being left in patients occur when the surgical team fails to count the equipment prior to a surgery. If the team miscounts, there is also the possibility of leaving something in a patient.

Another common issue is wrong-site surgery. Imagine going into the hospital needing a right knee replacement only to have the surgeon give you a left knee replacement. Not only would he or she have given you an artificial knee in place of your good knee, you may not be able to have your bad knee replaced immediately. Of course, both situations could cause considerable pain and injury.

Finally, one of the most horrific surgical errors that could befall a patient is that he or she does not receive the proper amount of anesthesia. Too much anesthesia could come with its own risks and dangers, but not getting enough may mean that a patient is awake during his or her surgery. When this happens, patients may feel nothing, but they may also feel absolutely every incision.

With their serious nature, it is important that Cleveland patients who are injured work with an attorney who can help recover some of the costs stemming from surgical errors.