Wrong-site surgery, while rare, is considered among the more egregious of medical errors because it is often debilitating, irreversible, and entirely preventable.
Wrong-site and wrong surgery is most common in orthopedic procedures and eye operations. It includes surgery to the incorrect side or the correct side but wrong location (the wrong finger on the correct hand). It also includes an incorrect operation (resection of a muscle instead of recession), wrong procedure and even a procedure performed on the wrong patient.
If you or a loved one was the victim of wrong-site or wrong surgery, you should contact a wrong-site attorney for a free evaluation of your case. Kline & Specter, PC, with more than 40 attorneys, five of whom are also doctors and surgeons, has the expertise to investigate and litigate cases of wrong-site surgery.
Victims of wrong-site and wrong surgery who file lawsuits are generally compensated for their injuries. One study found that 84 percent of wrong-site orthopedic claims resulted in medical malpractice awards, while 79 percent of wrong-site eye surgery resulted in compensation.
A study in Pennsylvania found that there were more than five wrong-site or wrong-patient surgeries committed every month in the state – or a total of 416 from mid-2004 through early 2011. (Read article)
And while considered uncommon, wrong-site surgeries do occur. In one survey of hand surgeons, one in five acknowledged that they had performed a wrong-site surgery once in their career, while 2 percent said it had happened to them more than once.
The highest incidence or wrong-site and wrong surgeries are among orthopedic procedures, followed by general surgery, neurosurgery and dental surgery. Ophthalmology also accounts for a relatively high number of wrong-site operations.
The reasons for wrong-site surgeries are many: failure to mark the operation site or to mark it clearly, poor use of abbreviations, use of the word “right” for the word “correct,” lack of a checklist or lack of a final check, failure to involve the patient in the process of identifying the correct site, hospital beds being moved around, time pressures, involvement of more than one surgeon, performance of multiple procedures on one patient, patients having similar names.
Kline & Specter litigated one case in which doctors removed the wrong side of a woman’s colon, resulting in three more surgeries, months of excruciating pain and her death at 51 years old. The case resulted in a confidential settlement. (See The McClure Case)
Click here to contact a wrong-site surgery lawyer today.
Kline & Specter News:
He underwent surgery to remove his right testicle. When he woke up, his left one was missing, The Washington Post, 6/15/17
Man with wrong testicle amputated awarded $870,000 in Huntingdon County, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/15/17
Ouch! Jury awards $870K to man whose doctor removed the wrong testicle, PennLive, 6/15/17
What's a life worth?, The Philadelphia Daily News, 10/22/2002