Medical professionals have never been subject to more oversight and professional requirements than those imposed in the modern healthcare system. Many healthcare providers, including quite a few successful surgeons, work for corporate medical practices or hospitals. They have to fill out very specific paperwork after every appointment or procedure and must carefully follow the best practices established by their employer and standards set by other professionals in their area of expertise.
Many patients hear those details and logically conclude that gross errors, such as surgeries performed on the wrong site, have become a thing of the past in the United States. Unfortunately, modern medical malpractice statistics show that isn’t true.
Thousands of wrong sites surgeries happen every year
There are many types of wrong site surgeries possible, and certain types are far more common than others. When looking at orthopedic surgeries in particular, there is a clear trend regarding wrong-site surgery errors.
Roughly 59% of the errors reviewed involved the surgeon operating on the wrong side of the body. Another 23% involved the doctor operating on the correct side of the body but the wrong location nonetheless. 14% of the errors involved the doctor performing the wrong procedure, and 5% of the errors resulted from a surgeon operating on the wrong patient. ”’
While a patient is far less likely to undergo the wrong procedure than they are to have a doctor perform it on the wrong side of their body, they still could experience substantial medical harm because of that mistake. A patient could become ineligible for future treatments or could have a much longer recovery because they need to have a second procedure after the first one that resulted in mistakes.
Filing a medical malpractice claim can help cover the financial losses generated when a surgeon operates on the wrong site.