Surgical Mistakes Cause Thousands of Preventable Injuries & Deaths

It is conventional wisdom that there are “good” and “bad” hospitals, but according to a ProPublica analysis, it is more important for a patient to prioritize choosing the right surgeon over the right hospital.

ProPublica has made public the “complication rates” (let’s be honest and call it what it is – malpractice rates) of nearly 17,000 surgeons nationwide for eight common elective procedures, including knee replacement, hip replacement, prostate removal, and spinal fusion surgeries. The performance of the surgeons was evaluated based on analysis of five years of Medicare records and took into account the age and overall health of the patients. The data found that over the course of five years, about 63,000 Medicare patients suffered serious harm post-surgery, and over 3,400 died after undergoing procedures that are widely considered low risk and straightforward.

According to ProPublica, about 11 percent of surgeons accounted for about a quarter of all complications, with hundreds of surgeons throughout the country having complication rates that are double or even triple the national average. In fact, subpar performers are even working at academic hospitals known for being among the best in the country.

Many hospitals do not track the complication rates of its surgeons, and neither does the government. Yet recent studies have revealed that medical errors are the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, responsible for at least 200,000 patients every year.

Unfortunately, transparency about medical error is still something that our culture has not yet achieved, but ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard allows patients to look up surgeons in their area and weigh their past performance. The scorecard reveals how many doctors perform routine surgeries at each hospital and how they stack up against their peers in terms of their rate of complications.

Medical Malpractice Attorney in Chicago

If you or a loved one has suffered harm after a surgical procedure, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case and should immediately get in touch with an attorney. At McNabola & Associates, LLC, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience and have won 97% of our cases. Mr. McNabola has been consistently listed as a “Top 100 Attorney in Illinois” by Super Lawyers® for his outstanding legal knowledge, track record of success, and commitment to his clients. We encourage you to contact our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation. If we don’t win your case, you pay nothing for our services.