Surgical errors are a shockingly common mistake in hospital and clinics throughout the United States, and despite recent changes in protocol and surgical processes in an attempt to reduce the incidence of accidental injuries such as wrong patient and wrong site surgery, patients continue to fall victim to medical negligence on the part of hospital staff and doctors which result in serious injuries or complications which can put their lives at risk as well as risking permanent damage and disability.

Among one of the more dangerous types of surgical error is the possibility of a wrong site surgery, in which the surgeon operates on the incorrect part of the body, typically on the mirrored side of where the surgery was intended to take place. This causes obvious problems when healthy tissue is operated on or removed while injuries or illnesses remain untreated due to the surgery taking place on the wrong place in the body. The costs associated with such a serious mistake can be astronomical, both financially and personally for the victim.

Common Causes

There are a variety of safety protocols in place to prevent mistakes such as wrong site surgeries from taking place, and such an accident is typically the result of a negligent disregard for some part of this process. The following re a few examples of mistakes which can lead to a wrong site surgery:

  • Illegible writing which obscures the instructions for the surgery
  • Confusing patients with one another and performing the correct surgery on the wrong patient
  • Working too quickly and failing to clarify surgical details with other staff
  • Failure to verbally verify the site of the surgery with the patient prior to operating
  • Failing to clearly mark the area of the body to be operated on, or marking it incorrectly.

When a doctor or nurse fails in their obligation to ensure the patients safety through proper safety protocol, their negligence can be shown to be the direct cause of serious injuries. Should you suffer an injury in such a way, it may be in your best interest to seek the assistance of an experienced team of medical malpractice lawyers in order to obtain compensation for your losses.