A wrong-site surgery is a very serious problem. When this happens, a doctor
has performed a surgery on the wrong side of the body. This means that
the original purpose of the surgery has not been performed, and the patient
may have to have a secondary surgery to correct the damage.
Here’s an example. In one report out of Oregon, a child went into
surgery to correct his lazy eye. The 3-year-old child expected to leave
the hospital on the same day. The surgery went quick and it was simple.
Unfortunately, they operated on the wrong eye. The doctor did perform
a new surgery on the correct eye following the operation on the first
recognizing that she had worked on the wrong eye. This opened up the child
to a number of possible consequences. For instance, the child could have
suffered from too much anesthesia, and he was likely in more pain than
he needed to be. His mother was angered that she was not told about the
error until both eyes had been operated on.
In 2006, there was a study performed to look at the frequency of surgical
errors throughout the United States. It was found that around 2,700 mistakes
were performed on the wrong side of the body each year. Working that out
by day equals out to around seven incorrect operations.
Are there not protocols in place to help prevent these accidents? Yes,
but they’re not infallible. There are many times when the wrong
eye could have been marked in this case. An x-ray could have been reversed,
a nurse could have marked the wrong eyelid and medical documents describing
the patient and the plan for the operation could have been incorrect.
For patients who go through this, it’s completely possible to seek
out damages for the negligence and errors that have taken place.