Wrong site surgery is a devastating medical error

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

Wrong site surgery is one of the worst medical errors that can happen at West Virginia hospitals. It is completely avoidable and indicates serious problems at a health care facility. While wrong site surgery is rare, when it does happen, it can have devastating consequences.

Different forms of wrong site surgery

There are a few different types of wrong site surgery that can happen. Surgery could be performed on the wrong body part, the wrong side of the body or the wrong patient altogether.

When the wrong patient is operated on, two patients are harmed at once. The patient who needed surgery is denied treatment while the patient who was falsely operated on could be injured by the unnecessary surgery.

How common is wrong site surgery?

According to a study from 2006, one incidence of wrong site surgery occurs for every 112,994 surgeries performed in the US. While this type of medical negligence might seem rare, these numbers add up to around 25 to 52 wrong site surgeries a week.

Why does wrong site surgery happen?

The first reason wrong site surgery might happen is that doctors don’t plan for it. Performing surgery on the wrong patient or wrong body part sounds so outlandish that a lot of doctors just don’t think about the possibility.

Lack of experience or skill have not been linked to wrong site surgery. In fact, around two-thirds of wrong site surgeries are performed by experienced surgeons in their 40s and 50s. Some of the causes of wrong site surgery are mixing up right and left, miscommunication among staff and issues with operative site markings.

Filing a medical malpractice claim for wrong site surgery

One of the biggest challenges when you file a medical malpractice claim is proving that the doctor did not provide you with the requisite standard of care. In a wrong site surgery claim, however, proving that point should be relatively straightforward. Plaintiffs in wrong site surgery claims may pursue compensation for their increased medical expenses and other damages.

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