Wrong Site Surgery

In the United States, recent figures estimate that surgical errors occur nearly forty times per week in hospitals across the country. Among those, one unfortunately common error is wrong site surgery, in which a physician operates on the incorrect limb or body part. Surgeries are already complicated and dangerous operations that require a high degree of skill to maximize their benefits and minimize the harm to the patient that could be caused by such an invasive procedure. When medical professionals do not act carefully and responsibly with regard to surgical procedures, they run the risk of causing patients additional harm and injury that could have been avoided.

Causes and Types of Wrong Site Surgery

Surgeries often require several teams of medical workers to work together and communicate clearly with one another to ensure that the patient is adequately prepared for the operation and to ensure that the surgeon knows which procedure the patient is scheduled for. When any of these medical professionals are negligent in their duties or fails to communicate with the workers who are involved in the procedure, they are very likely to cause a wrong site surgery. A few of the causes and types of wrong site surgery are:

  • Surgeon does not meet with the patient beforehand and is, thus, unfamiliar with the case
  • The workers who prepared the patient for surgery marked the wrong site
  • The surgeon operates on the wrong body part
  • The surgeon operates on the correct area, but performs the wrong procedure
  • The surgeon operates on the wrong patient

Although many hospitals have protocols which should control how surgical procedures are carried out, medical workers who take shortcuts or become lax can be a threat to a patients well-being.

Understanding Wrong Site Surgery

Many surgical errors are the result of poor communication, which could potentially be mitigated by ensuring that the surgeon is familiar with you, your condition, and the operation you are scheduled for. Wrong site surgery is among the mistakes that hospitals classify as “never events.” These are events that are inexcusable and should never happen. According to the website of Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, doctors or hospitals that are responsible for these events can be held accountable for the serious damage that often results from such negligence.

In the event that you have been the victim of a doctor’s neglect, such as after a wrong site surgery, you may want to contact a team of malpractice attorneys to ensure that your rights are protected.

2 Responsesto “Wrong Site Surgery”

  1. HachandRose says:

    I sent this around, good post

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