Doctors and surgeons might be human and bound to make mistakes, but that does not mean that the mistakes they make are just as devastating as the ones other people make. In fact, the injuries that are caused by a surgeon's negligence are serious and often life-threatening.
With so much damage caused by one of their mistakes, one would expect them to take extra care and precaution to avoid especially simple ones, like performing a wrong site surgery. Unfortunately, statistics show that surgeons perform procedures on the wrong part of the body regularly, leading to serious and sometimes even fatal medical consequences for the people who have the misfortune to be on the operating table at the time.
It is for these victims that the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian carry on their practice.
Wrong Site Surgeries Happen Regularly
In the medical field, there are a small handful of events that healthcare professionals recognize should never happen. These things are so easily preventable, and so devastating, that they have no excuse.
These things are called never events, and surgeries performed on the wrong site are one of them.
Wrong site surgeries involve the correct patient and the correct surgery, but the surgery is done in the wrong place. Generally, wrong site surgeries involve a procedure that is performed on the correct body part, but on the wrong side of the body, like a hip replacement done on the wrong hip.
These wrong site surgeries are not uncommon. According to one study, the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) recorded 2,217 wrong site surgical procedures in 13 years. However, reporting an incident like a wrong site surgery to the NPDB is voluntary, and many hospitals want to cover up the event as much as possible to preserve its reputation. As a result, it is estimated that only one out of every ten wrong site surgeries gets reported.
Medical Repercussions of a Wrong Site Surgery
If you are the victim of a wrong site surgery, the recovery process is long, and the debilitations that you suffer might even be permanent. After all, if a wrong site surgery was performed, it meant that you needed surgery to correct a medical condition, already. After a wrong site surgery, you still have that original medical condition to beat, and now you have to recover from the other surgery, which was done on a healthy part of your body.
What You Can Do After a Wrong Site Surgery
Getting legal help after a wrong site surgery can be the best option, because it can lead to you being compensated for the time and expense of the recovery process.
In Pennsylvania, medical malpractice law allows victims of especially egregious medical negligence to take advantage of the legal doctrine res ipsa loquitur, which is Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” Res ipsa loquitur infers someone's negligence when the result of their conduct could only have come about if they were extremely careless. It is a rare case that invokes the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, but it can be called upon for victims of wrong site surgeries.
Contact the medical malpractice attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian.