Unnecessary Surgery Performed on Patient in Cleveland, Ohio
These types of errors are labeled “never events”
because they should never occur. Never events include surgery performed on the wrong patient
: wrong site, wrong side. While patients and the healthcare industry alike would prefer to believe these never events don’t actually occur, the reality is that they do. According to a Johns Hopkins malpractice study published in 2012, performing the wrong procedure on a patient occurs 20 times per week in the U.S.
How does a surgery performed on the wrong patient happen?
Surgery is a personal event. No two surgeries are the same, and the circumstances surrounding each procedure are unique to the patient. Because of the complexity of the surgical process, the medical team caring for the patient needs to be prepared and educated for each event. Significant preparation time is allotted prior to beginning a procedure on a patient.
Some factors that may impact the integrity of the operating room and potentially cause a surgery performed on the wrong patient include the following:
- Insufficient planning: There is a lot of preparation that goes into every medical procedure. A physician who assumes that he or she is knowledgeable enough to skip steps or ignore certain precautionary actions may make a gross error, such as performing surgery on the wrong patient.
- Incompetence: A new surgeon or a surgeon who does not typically perform your type of procedure might lack the necessary skills or expertise needed to carry out all steps in the surgical process. Critical errors can result from unprepared medical teams being thrown into a situation for which they are not ready, which may lead to performing surgery on the wrong patient.
- Communication errors: Accurate, ongoing communication between members of the medical team is crucial for a successful surgical event. Pre-operative updates and briefs, medical records reviews and confirmation of all critical information helps to ensure that the surgeon and the rest of the team make no mistakes. When communication breaks down, gross errors can occur.
- Impairment: When a surgeon or members of the surgical team are affected by fatigue, drugs or alcohol, it compromises their ability to function. Negligence becomes a more likely possibility.
Is a surgery performed on the wrong patient considered malpractice in Cleveland?
Malpractice is a term that specifically refers to an event where a patient was harmed by the negligence or incompetence of the medical professionals who were responsible for his or her care. While this might sometimes be challenging to prove, in the case of a surgery performed on the wrong patient, the malpractice case is likely to be very strong.
A surgical never event is 100 percent preventable, so if you have experienced harm from such an event in Cleveland, speak to an attorney experienced with medical malpractice cases. An attorney will organize your records, evaluate liability for your surgical malpractice case
, and build your case to prove malpractice.
Ryan, LLP Can Help if You’re the Victim of Malpractice in Cleveland
At Ryan, LLP, we specialize in helping families and individuals harmed by medical malpractice or hospital negligence. If you have been the victim of a surgery on the wrong patient, or an unnecessary surgery, you may be entitled to compensation. If you need assistance filing a malpractice case in the Cleveland area, contact us today
at 877-864-9495 to set up a consultation.
About the author of this article: Thomas Ryan