Florida residents may have heard stories about surgical errors like sponges being left behind in people. Although incidents such as these are rare, they do happen sometimes. However, surgeons and hospitals have taken a number of steps to help prevent these types of mistakes. Some of those measures are simple ones. Surgical teams count sponges before and after surgery, use ink to mark surgical spots and employ checklists as well as enforcing time-outs during surgery to ensure that they have the right records, the right plans and the right patient.
Contrary to the perception that these types of errors are common to surgeons at the beginning or end of their career, most mistakes are made by mid-career surgeons. Such errors also seem to cluster around surgeons who have made mistakes in the past. Statistics show that two-thirds of surgeons who make a mistake have also been mentioned in multiple malpractice suits prior to the surgical error.