When we go to a doctor with something wrong we put our faith and health in the hands of someone we trust to know exactly what to do to help us. This is, even more, the case when we have to go under the knife for surgery. But what happens when a doctor operates on the wrong site?
What is wrong site surgery?
Wrong site surgery occurs when the wrong surgical site is operated upon by a doctor or surgeon. It is considered a “never event” because wrong site surgery has no explanation apart from negligence and should never occur. Yet despite this, there are 2,700 cases of wrong site surgery that occur each and every year. These numbers do not include the amount of surgeries that nearly ave incisions made in the wrong area at the start of surgery and are then quickly corrected. When a wrong site surgery occurs it is important to look at the reasons leading to the doctor or surgeons mistake and trying to correct them so they never happen again.
If there is a recurring issue of wrong site surgeries from one doctor or hospital, in particular, there is a strong indication of things lacking such as:
- Inconsistent practice
- Lack of protocols
- Lack of following protocols in place
A wrong site surgery can occur due in various ways:
- Wrong patient
- Wrong body part
- Wrong side of the body
- Wrong level of an anatomical site
Most wrong site surgeries that occur are due to patients being operated on the wrong side of the body.
How to prevent wrong site surgeries?
Despite the 2700 wrong site surgeries on an annual basis, there is there is a universal protocol that has been in place for ten years. There are various procedures that can be followed to try and prevent the event of a wrong site surgery occurring.
Firstly, doctors should consult the details of the operation with the patient themselves prior to marking the surgery site. This will ensure that the doctor is 100 percent sure that the site that they are marking is, in fact, the correct site for surgery. To ensure that the information they receive from the patient is correct doctors should then be very careful when reading and signing consent forms as should patients so they are fully aware of the site being operated upon.
Further to this doctors and surgeons should take a few minutes before surgery in the operation room to confirm the details of the patient such as name, operation type and site making sure that the whole OR team is concentrating and the details they have is correct.
Consult a Cooper City medical malpractice lawyer today
If you or your loved one have been subjected to the horrific event of a wrong site surgery or medical malpractice of any sort an Cooper City medical malpractice lawyer can help guide you through the process. A Cooper City medical malpractice lawyer will use all their expertise to get you the best results available for your case. To explore your options contact our office on 954-438-1000.