It is natural to be nervous when undergoing a surgical procedure. Some surgical procedures are very risky, and we depend on our physicians to successfully perform the operations we need to regain our health. Sadly, some surgeons in Pennsylvania do not uphold their duty of care and will commit an act of negligence such as operating on the wrong site of the body.
Wrong-site surgeries typically occur when established safety protocols are not followed. Moreover, since physicians and medical facilities are not obligated to report wrong-site surgeries, the scope of the problem becomes harder to define. According to some reports, about one in every 100,000 operations will involve surgeons operating on the wrong part of the body. However, less than 10% of these errors are ever reported.
Wrong-site surgeries can easily be avoided if surgeons follow their duty of care to patients. Many wrong-site surgeries involve the surgeon operating on the wrong side of the patient’s body. It has long been standard protocol for surgeons to mark the correct procedure site before beginning the operation.
Unfortunately, labeling is not foolproof. Sometimes surgical drapes mask markings, so wrong-site surgeries still occur. Instead, some experts recommend marking the wrong site of the body if there is the potential for left/right confusion, rather than marking the correct surgical site. If the wrong site is marked with “no” or “stop” labels, it can warn the surgeon not to operate there.
Wrong-site surgery and medical malpractice
Wrong-site surgery is an act of medical malpractice. Physicians owe their patients a duty of care to act as a reasonable physician would when providing care under similar circumstances. If they fail to do so, and you are put in a worse condition because of it you will want to explore all your legal options including whether you have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the negligent physician.