As a patient, it’s fair to say that you are probably worried about
your doctor making a mistake, prescribing the wrong medication, or diagnosing
you incorrectly. It would be nice if humans didn’t make mistakes,
but errors are common. Surgical errors are among the most feared errors
in the medical field, which is why it’s so important for patients
to be involved in their own care. They should be informed and double check
that they are having the operations they think they are.

Even then, mistakes can happen. Wrong-site surgeries, wrong-procedure surgeries,
and even wrong-patient surgeries can all happen. These are called never
events, and they are aptly named, since they should never have happened
to these patients.

In one data set, a six-month period came back showing that 59 percent of
all surgical mistakes were because of performing on the wrong side of
the patient’s body. In another 14 percent of cases, the wrong procedure
was performed. Five percent of cases involved the wrong patient having
surgery, and another 23 percent involved patients who had the wrong surgery
on the right side of the body.

What can you do if this kind of mistake results in your injuries? It’s
important to report the medical error. You may be able to have the mistake
corrected, or the surgeon may be able to explain why the mistake took
place. Finally, if you’ve been disabled or injured, you’re
always able to file a claim against the hospital and medical team for
compensation, so you can get the care you need to recover from the mistakes
they made.