Wrong-Site Surgery a Serious Concern for Patients
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.