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Wrong-site surgery and medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | Surgical Error

California residents who have undergone surgical procedures expected their doctors to be competent and skilled. No one plans to awaken from anesthesia to learn that they were the victim of a wrong-site surgery. This is a serious problem that can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits.

Wrong-site surgeries occur more often than you might think

Wrong-site surgery occurs as a direct result of negligence. Sadly, when a patient suffers harm as a result, it might be difficult to pinpoint how a doctor was negligent. However, this problem is more common than many people think. A person might need surgery on a specific part of the body on one side, but negligence leads to a medical mistake where the doctor performs the surgery on the other side. For example, a woman needs her right ovary removed, but the doctor removes the left one instead.

Although wrong-site surgery has long been considered rare, the U.S. National Library of Medicine estimates that as many as 90% of these incidents are unreported.

How wrong-site surgery leads to medical malpractice lawsuits

When a doctor’s negligence leads to wrong-site surgery, it can leave a patient seriously injured or left with other harm. Using the above example of the woman having the wrong ovary removed, her harm would include infertility: after the wrong-site surgery, she would still need her right ovary removed, which would render her unable to have children.

Patients can also suffer harm if the wrong-site surgery is detected much later. If a person has an illness and needed a procedure as treatment, their condition could significantly deteriorate over time. In either situation, victims might decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor. If the case is successful, potential damages could be awarded for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and more.

Wrong-site surgery can leave you seriously injured and suffering severe harm. You might want to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.