How do distractions in the hospital lead to surgical errors?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2022 | Hospital Negligence

As a patient in a hospital, you expect the highest level of quality care when you undergo surgery. However, there are many ways that medical staff and surgeons can become distracted or make errors that lead to serious physical complications for you.

Some sources of distractions are more obvious than others. Becoming more knowledgeable about how human error affects surgeries can help you if you suffer after this negligence.

Hearing too much noise

According to the National Library of Medicine, continual background noises and harsh sounds can make a doctor look away from the operation or the prep for the surgery. Even short or rare interruptions can cause a doctor to forget important details or become startled.

Other medical staff can also struggle to notice subtle problems during a procedure if the noise in the room is overwhelming.


Trying to complete too many tasks at one time can leave the support staff scrambling to stay aware of all parts of a surgery. Counting sponges or other small pieces of equipment is important.

When the staff does not check properly or even fails to check at all near the end of the procedure, it means the doctor is at risk for leaving these surgical items inside you.


Doctors may operate on the wrong limb or complete the wrong kind of surgery because they were trying to balance too much at once. Some support staff may not speak up if they do not spot errors because they become immediately distracted by discussions in the operating room.

Even simple errors can lead to worse complications during a delicate surgery. Distractions are a serious threat to your safety when you are in a hospital.


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