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Wrong Site Surgery Lawyers
Medical Malpractice Attorneys for Wrong-Site Surgery in Ohio and Northern Kentucky
Surgical procedures are often very complex and intricate, requiring the utmost precision, skill, and attention to detail. You place your entire life in the hands of the surgeon operating on you, and when doing so, you trust they will take every precaution so as not to harm you in any way. Unfortunately, surgical errors happen all the time as a result of medical negligence, and this includes wrong-site surgeries.
As you might imagine, victims of wrong-site surgery often suffer long-term consequences, from permanent, debilitating injuries to expensive medical bills and serious emotional trauma. In some cases, such a critical medical mistake can also lead to the wrongful death of a patient. With this in mind, it is important that injured victims and/or their family members take legal action against the responsible medical professionals and recover compensation for all of the expenses associated with their injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered serious harm due to a surgical error resulting from the negligence of a medical professional, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. The Ohio and Northern Kentucky medical malpractice lawyers at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm want to make sure you receive it. Give us a call at (800) 698-4054 or reach out to us online to speak to one of our wrong-site surgery attorneys today.
What is Wrong-Site Surgery?
Wrong-site surgery refers to a serious medical error in which a surgical procedure is performed on a part of a patient’s body that was not intended for treatment. It can also refer to surgical procedures performed on the wrong patient entirely or the right patient but the wrong type of surgical procedure.
There are a number of reasons why and how wrong-site surgeries happen, but often, it occurs when there is a breakdown in communication or proper verification processes among the medical staff involved.
Any type of surgical mistake can have severe consequences, especially one of this magnitude. Wrong-site surgeries often lead to unnecessary harm and potentially lifelong complications for the patient. When this happens, an experienced medical malpractice attorney like those at TLF can help victims and their families recover financial compensation for all of the damages and losses associated with the surgical error.
Wrong-Site Surgery Examples
As previously mentioned, wrong-site surgery often refers to a surgical procedure that is performed on the wrong body part or otherwise the wrong side of the patient’s body. However, it may also include cases in which the wrong procedure is performed or the wrong patient is operated on.
Wrong Side of Patient’s Body
This surgical error occurs when a surgeon operates on the right body part and patient, but on the wrong side of his or her body. This most commonly occurs with body parts that are paired, such as the lungs, kidneys, ovaries, or even the eyes.
An example of this might look like a patient who goes in to have their left kidney removed but instead has their right kidney removed.
Wrong Body Part
As inconceivable as it might seem, there are wrong-site surgery cases where a surgeon operates on the wrong part of a patient’s body. This might occur when the anatomical structure of a body part is similar to another.
An example of this may be if a surgeon performs tendon repair on the right hand but on the wrong finger.
Another example of wrong-site surgery is when the doctor performed on the correct site, but conducted the incorrect procedure.
Let’s say, for instance, that a patient was scheduled for herniated disc repair surgery. Somewhere along the way and for one reason or another, signals got crossed, and instead of repairing the herniated disc, the surgeon performed a spinal fusion surgery instead.
Believe it or not, wrong-patient surgery actually happens. This occurs when a surgeon performs the right procedure, but on the wrong person.
As you can imagine, unnecessary surgery can inflict significant harm on an individual as it subjects them to unnecessary physical and emotional trauma, an increased risk of complications and infections, lengthy recovery periods, and unnecessary financial burdens.
How Do Wrong-Site Surgeries Occur?
Medical professionals should take a number of precautionary measures to minimize the risk of wrong-site surgery. This includes things like conducting preoperative verification, marking the surgical site, and reviewing the patient’s identity, surgical procedure, and surgical site with all surgical team members before beginning the operation.
Despite efforts to prevent wrong-site surgery, such as the “Time-Out” process, these medical errors still happen far too often. Most commonly, wrong-site surgery occurs due to:
- Lapses in communication
- Inadequate documentation
- Failure to follow policy/protocol
- Misinterpretation of medical records
- Failure to review medical records
- Time constraints (i.e., rushing to complete an operation so another surgeon can use the operating room)
- Inadequate supervision
It is absolutely imperative that hospital staff and surgical team members alike maintain a high level of vigilance, double-check information, and adhere to established policies and protocols to reduce the risk of wrong-site surgery errors.
Wrong Site Surgery Statistics
According to the National Library of Medicine, it’s estimated that wrong-site surgery occurs at least 40 times a week in hospitals and clinics across the United States. This is equal to anywhere between 1,300 to 2,700 cases per year, on average.
Data from a recent study (May 2023) conducted by The Joint Commission reveals the most common types of surgeries, resulting injuries, and contributing factors for wrong-site surgery cases. According to the study, of 68 wrong-site surgery claims occurring between 2013 and 2020, these are the most frequent findings:
- Responsible Services
- Orthopedic – 35.3%
- Neurosurgery – 22.1%
- Urology – 8.8%
- Types of Procedures
- Spine and intervertebral disc surgery – 22.1%
- Arthroscopy – 14.7%
- Muscle/tendon surgery (most commonly hand surgery) – 11.8%
- Injuries Suffered
- The need for additional corrective surgery – 45.6%
- Pain – 33.8%
- Mobility dysfunction – 10.3%
- Worsened injury – 8.8%
- Wrongful death – 7.4%
- Contributing Factors
- Failure to follow policy/protocol – 83.8%
- Failure to review medical records – 41.4%
Wrong-Site Surgery Medical Malpractice Claim
If you or someone you love was harmed by a medical professional who performed wrong-site surgery, you have the ability to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible parties. If you are successful in your claim, you can recover compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And more
In the case that a family member died as a result of wrong-site surgery, you may also be able to recover wrongful death damages. A Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati wrongful death attorney from TLF will help you recover compensation for things like funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, related medical expenses, and more.
Res Ipsa Loquitur
The Latin phrase Res Ipsa Loquitur, which translates to “the thing speaks for itself,” is a legal principle that is often used in medical malpractice cases, specifically those involving surgical mistakes. The idea is that because a patient was sedated when the injury occurred, they cannot account for what exactly happened.
In a wrong-site surgery case, Res Ipsa Loquitur basically means that the injured plaintiff does not need to establish negligence on behalf of the responsible medical professional (which is an element required in most medical malpractice cases) because the injury would not have happened had it not been for negligence.
Why You Need a Wrong-Site Surgery Lawyer from TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm
Medical errors in general can be devastating for anyone involved, but such a serious medical error as wrong-site surgery can be absolutely catastrophic. In cases like these, it is crucial that you equip the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer like those at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm.
At TLF, we specialize in medical malpractice cases, particularly those involving surgical errors. This means we have the resources, skills, and experience necessary to investigate and identify the responsible parties and work to hold them legally accountable.
When we take on your case, we’ll get straight to work collecting all relevant medical records, contacting witnesses, and consulting with local and national medical experts to build a strong case on your behalf. All the while, our team of skilled attorneys will remain easily accessible to address any questions or concerns you may have, ensuring you receive comprehensive medical and legal support throughout the entirety of your case.
For a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney at TLF, give us a call today. You can reach our Northern Kentucky law office at (859) 578-9130, our Ohio law office at (513) 651-4130, or toll-free at (800) 698-4054. You may also use the online form below to request your consultation.
You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!
We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.