What Are Wrong-Site Surgeries?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 28-Jun-2017

The Washington Post recently published an article on a medical malpractice case involving a wrong-site surgery. Wrong-site surgeries, which occur when surgeons operate on the wrong part of the body, are a type of medical error that affects 40 patients in the U.S. each week. Due to the shock value of the case, many other media outlets also published articles on the story.

In 2013, the plaintiff sought treatment from a urologist because he was experiencing persistent testicular pain. After the plaintiff received an ultrasound, it was discovered his testicle had atrophied because of a prior injury. His doctor scheduled a procedure to remove the damaged testicle. However, his doctor removed the wrong testicle during the procedure. The man filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and hospital in 2014, accusing both parties of negligence. Four years after the procedure, the plaintiff secured a $870,000 verdict.

Wrong-site surgeries like the one described in the Washington Post article should never happen. According to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, most wrong-site surgeries are caused by a cascade of smaller medical errors. For example, a doctor may receive incomplete information about a patient from other hospital staff.

Wrong-site surgeries may also occur when incision sites are improperly marked. Hospital staff may fail to mark patients outright or they may use unapproved pens with ink that can be washed away during the prepping stages of a surgical procedure.

Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Surgery Error?

Wrong-site surgeries can be caused by medical negligence. In these cases, hospitals and doctors may have failed to provide patients with the accepted standard of care. Much like in the Washington Post article, patients affected by wrong-site surgeries or their family members may be able to file medical malpractice lawsuits for damages.

If you or a loved one were harmed by a medical mistake, the Washington DC medical malpractice attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC can help you seek justice against the responsible parties.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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