Wrong-site surgery is one of the most tragic and serious medical errors as it can have irreversible and debilitating effects even though it is preventable.
Wrong-site surgery most often occurs in orthopedic procedures and eye operations due to operating on the incorrect side or correct side but wrong location.
Wrong-site surgery also occurs in the form of an incorrect operation, wrong procedure, and even a procedure performed on the wrong patient.
Victims of a wrong-site surgery and wrong surgery are generally compensated for their injuries when they file lawsuits.
One study found that 84 percent of wrong-site orthopedic claims resulted in medical malpractice awards, while 79 percent of wrong-site eye surgery resulted in compensation.
In one survey of hand surgeons, one in five acknowledged that they had performed a wrong-site surgery once in their career, while 2 percent said it had happened to them more than once.
The highest incidence or wrong-site and wrong surgeries are among orthopedic procedures, followed by general surgery, neurosurgery and dental surgery.
Ophthalmology also accounts for a relatively high number of wrong-site operations.
Wrong-site surgery can occur for many reasons:
- failure to mark the operation site or to mark it clearly
- poor use of abbreviations
- use of the word “right” for the word “correct”
- lack of a checklist or lack of a final check
- failure to involve the patient in the process of identifying the correct site
- hospital beds being moved around
- time pressures
- involvement of more than one surgeon
- performance of multiple procedures on one patient
- patients having similar names
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a wrong-site surgery, contact us today.
Call us toll-free 1-888-GARRETT (1-888-427-7388) or fill out our contact form for a free legal consultation.