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I had a bowel resection, the surgeon made a mistake and didnt realize he cut my spleen.

Posted by Sharlene

Post op I almost died , several hours later I was rushed back to the o.r. where I lost over half the blood in my body. I was in dic. Is this something easily done or do you think the Dr wasnt paying attention closely enough?
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I'm not here to defend your surgeon (since I have no idea who s/he is/was).  However, there is an expectation from our patients that we need to correct 100% of the time and that we can never make a mistake.  In other words, we need to be perfect.  From the patient's perspective, I think this is a reasonable desire.  After all, who wants to have an medical error affect him or her?  


However, the truth is that physicians are human, just like you.  And we all make mistakes.  Of course, we do everything we can to minimize the risk of bad outcomes but they do happen.  The bigger question is whether we learn from our mistakes.  Or whether we have a history of making the same types of errors over & over again.  


I'm not a surgeon, but I would imagine that cutting the spleen is an easy thing to do under emergent circumstances (you didn't describe how you came about to have a bowel resection).  What's more important is that your medical team recognized the situation and fixed it.  After all, you're here typing away asking questions, right?  Which means they must have done a bunch of things correctly if they got you thru your DIC episode.  


My suggestion is not to ask whether your physician was paying attention (if they weren't, you'd be dead), but whether s/he has a habit of having bad outcomes.  And even then, you have to ask whether these bad outcomes are a result of easy routine cases or difficult ones which no one else will touch.  The former means something's not right while the latter suggests that your surgeon is at least trying to help when no one else will in the most dire of situations and death has a higher likelihood.


Yeah, I'm a physician so of course I'm going to defend my colleagues, right?  Well, not at the extent of public health.  But I would ask for understanding in the event of some rare act of God that could not be foreseen.  Just my 2 cents. 

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