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What are 2 leading causes of wrong-site surgeries?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

You’ve probably watched TV shows or movies about surgical procedures that have been performed on the wrong part of the body. Unfortunately, thousands of patients experience this sad reality each year. In fact, studies show that wrong-site surgery is one of the leading surgical mistakes in the U.S.

Wrong-site surgery, as the name suggests, happens when a patient is operated on in the wrong location. And just like any surgical error, it can be traumatic, to say the least. If a surgeon operates on you in the wrong location, it helps to understand that you can pursue them for damages through a medical malpractice claim.

How do these surgical mistakes happen? Here are two leading causes of wrong-site surgeries:

1. Mistakes during scheduling

Most wrong-site surgeries are attributable to mistakes that occur during the patient’s scheduling process such as:

  • When the individual tasked with booking the patient and scheduling them for the operation fails to verify the existence and/or accuracy of surgical orders from the patient’s doctor or surgeon
  • When a surgical request is not made in writing
  • When the documentation used for scheduling the procedure is improperly filled out (using improper abbreviations or illegible handwriting)

2. Pre-operation mistakes

Wrong-site surgeries can also happen when there are flaws during the pre-operation process. This can be caused by the following:

  • Missing or inconsistent patient consent forms, surgical booking requests, operating room schedules or surgery booking orders.
  • Inconsistent markings on the surgical sites
  • Failure to verify the patient’s identity before checking them in for the procedure

Protecting your rights 

Wrong-site surgery can have devastating consequences. The resulting medical costs and lost wages among other damages can be nerve-wracking. However, despite the obvious consequences of wrong-site surgery, you still need considerable knowledge of New York medical malpractice laws to litigate your claim.