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Are patients at risk of a surgeon performing the wrong procedure?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

Surgery is one of the most invasive kinds of medical care possible, but this opportunity also makes it possible for doctors to directly address issues, like damage to connective tissue or tumors, that would not be treatable otherwise.

Surgery has become a go-to treatment option for issues ranging from joint pain to cancer. Most surgeries occur with minimal, if any, complications. Surgeons train for years to do their jobs safely and competently. Most hospitals also have rigorous standards in place to protect all patients who undergo procedures at their facility. However, despite this training and standard safety protocols, surgical errors still occur with alarming frequency. Some of the most horrific surgical mistakes involve surgeons performing the wrong procedure.

Procedure errors are more common than people realize

Despite the advances in medicine and also the technical support systems used by those providing medical care, gross errors still sometimes occur in operating rooms. For example, in 2021, an Ohio medical team had to announce that they completed a kidney transplant and gave the wrong person the donated organ.

Wrong-patient surgeries, which involve misidentification and then someone receiving the wrong surgical procedure, still occur in the United States, even at trusted and modern medical facilities. Sometimes, surgeons make wrong-site mistakes instead. They could also perform the right surgery on the wrong side of someone’s body.

Such mistakes almost always have dire medical consequences for the patient involved. They may require a revision procedure in many cases or may not survive the damage inflicted by the improper procedure or the delay in treatment necessitated by the surgical error. Both those directly harmed by a surgeon’s major medical mistake and those who lose a loved one in an operating room tragedy may have grounds meant to take action in the civil courts or through pursuing an insurance claim.

In some cases, enough medical malpractice claims against one surgeon or a sufficiently serious failure on their part can lead to professional consequences. At the very least, a successful claim might inspire change at the facility where a surgical error occurred. Demanding justice with the assistance of a legal professional after medical malpractice occurs can lead to compensation for those affected and serve as a learning opportunity for the medical professionals involved.