When getting surgery, you probably never expected to have the wrong body part operated on. After all, your doctor knows his right from left, right? And they should be able to read the name on the chart and the description of the procedure they are supposed to be performing. However, wrong site surgery remains a real problem in the US, despite more than a decade of intense effort to wipe it out. If you suffered wrong site surgery, you may be able to get compensation for the effects of your surgery.
To talk to an experienced malpractice attorney about your wrong site surgery, please contact AccidentAttorneys.org today.
A “Never Event”
Wrong site surgery has been identified as a type of medical malpractice known as a “never event.” It is an error that should literally never occur because it is so basic a mistake and so easily preventable that it should be eliminated. A standard set of procedures, called the “Universal Protocols” has been introduced to eliminate wrong site surgery, and when properly followed these protocols can be successful.
Unfortunately, wrong site surgery remains a major problem in the US. It may occur as often as 40 times a week in US hospitals.
Causes of Wrong Site Surgery
When the error is so basic, and simple solutions exist to prevent it, why does wrong site surgery persist? Part of the problem is doctors, and part of the problem is hospitals.
Doctors, as a whole, have been blamed for the persistence of wrong site surgery. They may be considered arrogant for their tendency to resist protocols and their tendency to underestimate the likelihood that they will make an error. In addition, surgical doctors are not “team players,” many of them create an operating room atmosphere in which nurses and other doctors do not feel able to speak up, even when they think a doctor is making a mistake.
Hospitals encourage the problem of wrong site surgery by creating a factory-like culture in the operating room. Surgeons have less time to meet their patients and get to know them and their treatment plan. Surgeons are rushed from surgery to surgery in an attempt to maximize revenue for the hospital or treatment clinic.
Surgeons themselves may also play a role in creating an assembly line culture, especially when they work in outpatient facilities in which they have invested and hope to profit from.
Reducing Profit May Put Focus on Patient
Punishing doctors and hospitals with a financial penalty for wrong site surgery may seem like too little to make up for what they have done. They may have taken away your arm, your eye, or other healthy body part, something that no amount of money may restore.
But because the cause of wrong site surgery often comes down to money, imposing a financial penalty may help doctors and hospitals to realize that what really matters is the patient, and that only by focusing on patient well-being can they create a profitable surgical culture.
To learn more about how your wrong site surgery lawsuit can help yourself and others, please contact AccidentAttorneys.org today.