It is natural to worry about undergoing surgery since you are putting your health and even your life in the hands of medical professionals for a period of time. Many people come out of surgery without any problems. Unfortunately, some patients have been the victims of errors committed during an operation.
Mistakes physicians make in surgery can profoundly affect your physical and mental health. You may need corrective surgery to fix the error, though sometimes doctors cannot undo the damage done by a wrong surgery. The Patient Safety Network describes three different types of surgery errors that have harmed patients.
Wrong procedure surgery
One way surgery can go wrong is through a wrong procedure surgery. In this case, everything involving the surgery may be correct except for the procedure performed on the patient. Due to a misunderstanding or a miscommunication, the surgery team carries out the wrong medical procedure on the patient.
Some surgery teams do perform the correct procedure on a patient. The problem is that they may not do it on the correct side of the patient’s body. There have been times when physicians have mixed up a leg, an arm or a side of the body and have operated on a healthy part by mistake. In some cases, this may result in the removal of a healthy organ or tissue instead of a diseased or infected one.
Wrong patient surgery
A surgery team may carry out the right procedure on the right part of the body, except they do it on the wrong patient. There have been cases where a hospital has confused one patient for another and subjected the wrong patient to a type of surgery intended for the other patient.
The medical community considers these situations to be “never events,” meaning they should never happen. Hospitals have attempted to eliminate surgical errors through surgical safety checklists and timeouts to allow surgery teams to verify patient information. Still, a patient may still suffer as a result of a wrong surgery and may need compensation for negligent actions.