Wrong-site surgery can have shattering and life-long consequences for a patient. If you have been hurt because of a wrong-site surgery, you need to reach out to an experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are committed to holding negligent medical professionals accountable for the harm that they cause.
One of the most shocking forms of malpractice is a wrong-site surgery. Wrong-site surgeries are a type of medical malpractice and considered to be very serious surgical errors. In fact, a wrong-site surgery is considered a “never event” because it is completely preventable and therefore should never happen.
Sadly, wrong-site surgeries are more common than you might expect. Data from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) reveals that wrong-site surgery is the third highest-ranking event for preventable medical errors, comprising approximately 15 percent of the total preventable medical errors that occur nationwide. In addition, JCAHO found that 76 percent of wrong-site surgeries were surgeries performed on the wrong body part, while the other 24 percent were split between operations using the wrong procedure or operations on the wrong person. It is estimated that wrong-site surgeries happen 40 times a week on average.
Medical professionals should have procedures in place to eliminate the risk of a wrong-site surgery. This normally involves several medical professionals verifying that the correct patient is present, the correct records and documents are present and properly completed, and the surgical site is marked and confirmed.
A wrong-site surgery is clear evidence of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes an injury or death by failing to use the level of care that a reasonably competent medical professional would have used in the same or a similar situation. There is an important legal doctrine called “res ipsa loquitur” that applies in most wrong-site surgery cases. “Res ipsa loquitur” is Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” Essentially, a res ipsa case is one in which the injury that has occurred could not have occurred unless some kind of negligence played a role. In other words, there is no need to prove medical negligence because the negligence is very obvious if, for example, your left arm was amputated instead of your right.
A number of parties may be liable for a wrong-site surgery, including the surgeon, the hospital, or members of the hospital staff. Whether a hospital can be held liable for a wrong-site surgery depends on the professional relationship between the surgeon and the hospital. For example, if the surgeon was an independent contractor rather than an employee, the hospital’s liability may be challenging to establish. We can examine your case and make a determination.
Medical malpractice can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. If you have experienced a wrong-site surgery due to a medical professional’s negligence, we can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse surgical malpractice attorneys have the experience and resources necessary to handle complex medical malpractice cases. For more information about your legal rights and options, do not delay in calling us at 833-200-2000 or contacting us online.
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