How Do Wrong Site Surgeries Happen?

How Do Wrong Site Surgeries Happen?

Law Offices of Steven Zwick Dec. 14, 2020

So you’ve woken up following your surgery, and all seems to be well at first. However, you become aware of the fact that something is wrong. Perhaps your surgery has been accomplished effectively, but there is an additional wound that hasn’t been explained. Or perhaps your surgeon does inform you outright that an error did occur in surgery. Your procedure was initially performed on the wrong site.

This may seem shocking, but it’s, unfortunately, more common than you would think. It’s estimated that wrong-site surgeries are performed about 40 times per week. There are obvious physical consequences to wrong-site surgeries; however, the aftermath can be emotional as well. While some recover from wrong-site surgeries easily, others can find their recoveries significantly stunted due to this mistake. This is why, regardless of whether or not responsibility was immediately taken, you should ask yourself: do I need an attorney?

How Do Wrong Site Surgeries Happen?

It’s important to understand wrong-site surgeries in the context of medical malpractice. While this type of error may seem impossible to make in theory, they obviously happen fairly frequently. Technically speaking, wrong-site surgery can encompass a surgery performed on the wrong site or side of the body, surgery is performed on the wrong patient, or even simply the wrong surgical procedure on a more general level. With that broad-spectrum in mind, it’s easier to understand the frequency of this error and how devastating it can potentially be.

A patient could lose an organ that they did not need to be extracted due to wrong-site surgery, leading to lifelong complications. Keep in mind, too, that usually those who fall victim to wrong-site surgeries still require other surgeries in order to treat a condition. Therefore, they’ve essentially suffered additional damage when they were already unwell.

Wrong-site surgeries can occasionally come down to one person being negligent, but they can also be the result of an entire system being at fault. After all, a team of medical professionals needs to make mistakes collectively in order for a wrong-site surgery to occur. There are usually issues with verifying patient identity at play, as well as errors in marking the surgery site. This is why some hospitals are implementing universal procedures in order to prevent these incidents. But this won’t matter to you if it’s already happened. If you’re asking yourself “do I need an attorney” following a wrong-site surgery, the answer is probably yes.

What Should I Do After a Wrong Site Surgery?

It’s possible that you will automatically be offered compensation following a wrong-site surgery, but this is not always the case. Even if you are offered compensation, you need to get in touch with personal injury lawyers before you accept anything. Compensation is not the only issue to consider here. You also need to know that people are held responsible for their errors.

Yet without a skilled personal injury attorney, it can be difficult to determine who was specifically at fault for your wrong-site surgery. For example, there are times in which surgeons act as independent contractors, using the hospital to perform a procedure while not functioning as an employee at the hospital. This can make your case somewhat more complex. We ask ourselves do I need an attorney not just because something bad has happened, but because these issues can be hard to resolve without legal expertise.

What Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Accomplish?

As previously mentioned, personal injury cases are not just about receiving compensation, but knowing that people are being held responsible for their errors. Your personal injury lawsuit could prevent another person from falling prey to wrong-site surgery.

Another thing to consider as you proceed with your lawsuit is that you will be left with medical bills, days lost from work, emotional distress, and potentially lifelong physical problems. It is understandable that you will need compensation to help deal with these issues.

After asking yourself do I need an attorney, explore personal injury lawyers with medical malpractice experience. A good lawyer may be able to help you receive what you deserve and ensure that the error that occurred in your case is recognized, with accountability taken by parties at fault.