Many people are quite shocked to hear stories about botched surgeries. While surgeries are usually safe and successful, mistakes do sometimes occur, either due to surgeon error or miscommunication. Wrong-site surgery is a term for a surgery that occurs in the wrong part of the body. Wrong-site surgeries are most often a case of a surgery occurring on the wrong side of the body — on the wrong knee or the wrong breast, for example. Very rarely, a patient may be subjected to a surgery that they did not require because of mistaken identity.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of wrong-site surgery, you will likely be able to claim damages. You can do this by showing that negligence was present and by filing a medical malpractice claim. The following are some causes of wrong-site surgery that could constitute medical malpractice.
When not all documents agree on the location of the surgery
There will be multiple medical documents that discuss the nature and location of the surgery. All of these documents should be read through by the medical professionals involved, and it should be ensured that all information provided is not contradictory. If one document says that the surgery will take place on the left side and another document says it will take place on the right, a mistake could easily occur.
When the site of the surgery is not marked
In the majority of cases, it is necessary and appropriate for a surgeon to mark the site of the surgery on the body with a pen. This helps prevent a mistake from being made during the surgery. Involving the patient with identifying the site of surgery can also minimize the chances of errors being made.
Claiming damages after wrong-site surgery
Being a victim of wrong-site surgery can mean that you will require several surgeries to correct the mistake. By taking action to file a medical malpractice claim, you should be able to receive compensation for the costs of the surgery and the pain and suffering caused.
If you are considering making a medical malpractice claim, you must take early action so that you can explore your options.