With years of education and training it seems almost impossible that a doctor would make what would be an easily avoidable mistake of operating on the wrong site. The reality is that wrong-site surgeries occur as many as 40 times each week, according to the Washington Post.
Wrong-site surgeries are a type of medical malpractice that result from poor communication. This unfortunate type of medical malpractice ends up costing a patient physical and emotional damage.
Wrong-site surgery victims have a right to file a lawsuit for malpractice. Large settlements for recovery are common. Patients have gone in for correction of a lazy left eye, only to recover from surgery that took place on their perfectly healthy right eye. There have also been cases where right knee replacement is needed, but the patient goes home with their left knee replaced.
Fortunately, hospitals are incorporating new procedures to reduce malpractice cases and reduce the occurrence of wrong-site surgeries. Pre-surgical standards require doctors and staff to physically mark the surgery site. Plus, staff are required to re-verify each other's work.
These steps not only limit the chances of a wrong-site surgery, but will save the hospital plenty of money because of Medicare's restrictions. Medicare will not pay costs for wrong-site surgeries, and patients are sometimes surprised that some insurance companies follow the same policy. Patients are left with huge bills, suffering, plus the cost of the correct surgery. With these factors, a patient should rely on an experienced attorney who knows medical malpractice laws.
Brent Adams & Associates represents NC medical malpractice victims. Our cases stem from incidents in hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices and nursing facilities. According to the Joint Commission, errors among hospital staff continue to grow, which means there are more medical practice cases. Their report includes these details, which are believed to be contributing to surgery errors:
- Doctors resist checklists and don't follow procedures
- Deadlines and packed schedules contribute to lack of focus
- Doctors are used to working alone and are out of their element in a team environment