Wrong-site surgery is a serious medical error in which a surgical procedure is performed on the wrong part of the body, the wrong side of the body, or on the wrong patient. It is a type of "never event," which means it is a medical error that should never occur. Wrong-site surgery can lead to severe consequences for patients, including unnecessary pain and suffering, additional surgeries, and prolonged recovery periods. Here are the main types of wrong-site surgery:

  1. Wrong-Site Surgery: This occurs when a surgery is performed on the incorrect part of the body. For example, operating on the left knee instead of the right knee.

  2. Wrong-Side Surgery: This involves performing surgery on the wrong side of the body. For instance, removing the left kidney instead of the right kidney.

  3. Wrong-Procedure Surgery: This happens when the wrong surgical procedure is performed on a patient. For example, performing a gallbladder removal instead of an appendix removal.

  4. Wrong-Patient Surgery: This occurs when a surgical procedure intended for one patient is mistakenly performed on another patient.

The causes of wrong-site surgery can include:

  • Miscommunication: Failures in communication between surgical team members, including the surgeon, nurses, and anesthesiologists.
  • Inadequate Preoperative Planning: Lack of proper verification of the surgical site before the procedure.
  • Documentation Errors: Incorrect or incomplete documentation in medical records.
  • Human Error: Mistakes made by healthcare providers due to fatigue, stress, or lack of attention to detail.
  • Failure to Follow Protocols: Not adhering to established protocols, such as the "time-out" procedure where the surgical team pauses to verify the correct patient, procedure, and site before surgery begins.

To prevent wrong-site surgery, hospitals and surgical centers implement various safety measures, including:

  • Preoperative Verification: Verifying the correct patient, procedure, and surgical site multiple times before surgery.
  • Marking the Surgical Site: Clearly marking the surgical site on the patient's body to ensure the correct location is operated on.
  • "Time-Out" Procedure: Conducting a final verification process just before the surgery starts, where the entire surgical team confirms the patient's identity, the procedure, and the surgical site.
  • Checklists: Using checklists to ensure all safety steps are followed and nothing is overlooked.

Despite these measures, wrong-site surgeries can still occur, and when they do, they are often grounds for medical malpractice claims due to the severe impact they have on patients' health and well-being.

You can reach Hospital and Medical Malpractice Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected] or by text at (305) 929-8935.

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.
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