Waking up from a surgery and learning that you had an operation on the wrong area of your body or finding out that you need a second surgery to remove an object left inside you can be horrifying. You put your life and health in your medical team’s care, and you expected them to treat you appropriately.
Unfortunately, medical errors and surgical errors are fairly common. In one poll, the orthopedic surgeons that were interviewed discussed the kinds of errors they saw being made during surgery. In 59% of those cases it was wrong-side surgeries that happened. In 23% of cases, it was wrong-site surgery. In 14%, it was completely the wrong procedure. In another 5% of cases, the wrong patient had been operated on.
Poor communication is a problem in patient care
Poor communication is one of the key issues leading to surgical errors. As a patient, something you can do to help is to make sure you review your surgery and fully understand what will happen during it. Correct medical providers who call you other names or use a different birth date to identify you and ask questions when you need clarification. Your questions and concerns could help prevent a mistake.
As a patient, you should not have to worry that a surgeon is going to operate on the wrong part of your body or make a serious error that causes you harm. It’s important that you know your legal rights if you do suffer from any kind of surgical error so that you can pursue fair compensation. Our website has more information to help you learn about surgical errors, their causes and what steps you can take if you’ve been a victim.