Wrong-site surgeries in Bloomington are a serious type of medical malpractice. The National Quality Forum (NQF) considers these “never events” significant adverse medical errors that are preventable and should never occur, and that indicate serious underlying safety problems.

The Joint Commission defines a Sentinel Event as “a patient safety event (not primarily related to the natural course of the patient’s illness or underlying condition) that reaches a patient and results in any of the following: death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm and intervention required to sustain life.”  In its latest Sentinel Event statistics, wrong-site surgery ranks #3 (12%) on the list of the top 10 most frequently reported Sentinel Events in 2018.

Wrong-Site Surgery Examples

Wrong-site surgeries can be obvious, such as operating on the right knee when the surgery was scheduled for the left knee. Another incorrect body site example, cited by the US DHHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in a patient newsletter, is the case of a woman who had the right side of her vulva removed when the cancerous lesion was on the left.  

A surprisingly common wrong-site issue for neurosurgeons is operating on the wrong level of the spine. No matter the circumstances surrounding a wrong-site surgery, a Bloomington attorney could help to gather evidence for a claim. 

Preventing Operations on the Wrong Body Part

The medical profession, on the recommendation of the Joint Commission, has adopted a universal pre-surgery protocol to reduce the occurrence of wrong-site errors in Bloomington. It is a three-step process that includes:

  • Conducting a pre-procedure verification process to confirm the correct patient, the correct procedure and the correct site
  • Having the patient and surgeon mark and confirm the part of the body where surgery is to be performed
  • Conducting a time-out before starting the procedure so that every medical professional involved in the care can confirm the identity of the patient, the procedure to be performed, and the location of the procedure

Why Does Wrong-Site Surgery Happen?

Many people wonder why wrong-site surgery errors still occur in Bloomington, despite the safety efforts instituted to end what should be preventable medical errors. Most of the time, these types of human errors happen for one or more of the following reasons: a failure to communicate, a failure to follow established rules and protocols, or a lack of proper leadership.

As a result, when these mistakes happen, there is often a dispute about who is at fault, and whether it was the result of a failure of the doctor, nurses, clinic, or hospital where the procedure was performed. However, what is almost certain is that one or more parties failed to meet the standard of care for the surgical patient. That makes it a case of medical malpractice.

How a Bloomington Malpractice Attorney Might Help with a Wrong-Site Surgery Claim

Wrong-site cases can be complicated, and not all attorneys are experienced at handling them. A knowledgeable lawyer could listen to your situation, get all the medical records, and help you figure out who is responsible for a wrong-site error.

You need help to get to the bottom of what happened, make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else, and that you get fully compensated for your injuries. If you suffered injuries or a worsened medical condition after a wrong site surgery in Bloomington, contact us now for a no-obligation, free consultation.