How is Wrong-Site Surgery a Blatant Form of Medical Malpractice?


Wrong-site surgery (WSS) may not be a well-known term among medical patients.  However, it is a common term used in the medical field for operating on the wrong body area, the wrong patient, or performing the wrong surgical procedure on a patient.  Amputating the wrong limb, giving the wrong patient an appendectomy, or performing a gall bladder removal instead of a tonsillectomy are all examples of wrong-site surgeries.  And as cases go, medical malpractice lawyers in Atlanta have a good chance of winning a WSS case.

A National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) article reported that a high percentage of wrong-site surgeries result in malpractice claim awards— 79 percent for eye surgery and 84 percent of orthopedic surgeries.  While wrong-site surgeries are rare (one in 27,686 cases), the number of these cases increased significantly between 1998 and 2007 from 15 cases to 592 cases.  As a result of wrong-site surgeries, state medical boards may impose penalties on physicians and insurers may refuse to pay for the surgeries done.  Wrong-site surgeries are definitely more blatant forms of medical malpractice.

Various causes can lead to this particular type of medical malpractice.  Organizational factors that lead to WSS often include:

  • Communication failures
  • Procedural noncompliance
  • Leadership problems
  • More than one surgeon involved in the procedure
  • Multiple procedures during one operation
  • Team incompetence
  • Failure to recheck patient information before beginning surgery

The hospital or practitioner may even approach patients about a malpractice settlement before they have had a chance to consult a lawyer.  It is always in your best interests to seek a legal opinion first.  The Cochran Firm Atlanta can help protect your rights and ensure the settlement is a fair offer.

If you want to file an Injury & accident claim, contact our Accident Lawyers, who have expertise in Auto Accident, Car Accident, Brain Injury, Personal Injury, Premises Liability,Truck Accident, Police Misconduct and other areas of practice. Call The Cochran Firm Atlanta toll-free at (404) 222-9922, or send us your queries using this inquiry form.

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