Wrong site surgery conjures horrifying images of disfigurement or missing body parts. Such a prospect fills citizens of Texas with fear, but in the big picture, such mistakes are relatively rare and usually do not result in significant disfigurement. However, wrong site surgeries do still happen and can lead to emotional devastation and a worsened medical condition. The fact that this type of surgical mistake is usually preventable only adds to the tragedy these victims may feel.
So what causes a trained and educated surgeon to perform a procedure on the wrong area of the body? The National Center for Biotechnology lists several reasons these mistakes occur. They include:
— Inadequacies in the patient assessment process
— Not having a full surgical team
— Miscommunication among the surgical team members
— Pressures to perform the surgery quickly
— Having two or more surgeons working on the procedure
— Not using a list to make sure all checks were performed
— Failure to clearly mark the surgery site
— Not complying with established surgical procedures
— Improper or inadequate staffing
— Lack of competence within the surgical team
As previously mentioned, wrong site surgeries can be prevented. Organizations such as the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare have been paying attention to the problem. The commission began the Safe Surgery Project in 2009 and currently offers several safety resources for surgeons and medical facilities. Patients can even access these resources, perhaps to gain insight into whether their health care providers are following safety guidelines.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a botched procedure, there are legal options at your disposal. One such option is to consider pursuing a medical malpractice claim against your provider. Seek advice from a Texas-based attorney to learn more.
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Causes of Wrong-Site Surgeries,” accessed Jan. 27, 2016