When a surgical procedure is performed on an incorrect patient, the results can be grave.
For instance, a surgeon could mistakenly (negligently) remove an arm, a leg or a working organ from a patient. The patient could also suffer from an infection that occurred as a result of having that unnecessary surgery. Moreover, a patient may experience delays in receiving the surgery that she was originally supposed to have – this situation alone can cause serious complications and even death. Of course, wrong patient surgery can also affect a patient mentally – as this type of situation is always a stressful one on the patient.
Examples of wrong patient surgery.
Not too long ago, a 53-year-old woman in Rhode Island was scheduled to have a hysterectomy at Providence’s Women & Infants’ Hospital. However, besides a hysterectomy, the doctor also removed her ovaries. The doctor discovered after the operation that the woman did not in fact want her ovaries removed.
In 2008, doctors in Tampa, Florida started a surgical procedure on the incorrect individual. Specifically, the surgeons started to perform a cardiac catheterization on the wrong patient at Tampa General Hospital. A cardiac catheter is a thin plastic tube that is inserted into a vein or artery in the leg or arm. The test, itself, measures the amount of oxygen in the blood as well as blood pressure. Thankfully, the doctors realized their error early on in this situation, and the procedure was stopped prematurely.
Why does surgery on the wrong patient happen today in medical facilities?
Wrong patient surgery generally happens when medical personnel – usually a doctor or a nurse – make some type of error. These errors can include the following:
- There is not proper communication between the patient, the surgical team, and other hospital personnel. For example, human factors such as staff personnel changes after a break or lunch can result in miscommunication errors.
- There are other medical emergencies or other time pressures in the hospital that can distract medical personnel.
- There is a lack of proper preoperative verification or policy at the medical facility.
Discover your rights concerning surgery mistakes.
If you or someone you are close to has experienced wrong patient surgery, you should learn about your legal rights concerning this very unfortunate and grave situation. After all, you could be eligible to receive monetary compensation that could cover your medical costs, lost income and of course the suffering that occurred as a result of this medical error. Please contact us today to learn how we can help you with this serious problem.
The Dallas surgery malpractice lawyers at Rasansky Law Firm understand how to properly deal with your unfortunate situation.