Over 100 Years Of Service

What is wrong-site surgery, and why does it happen?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Patients in Massachusetts and around the country expect their doctors to be highly skilled at their craft. Unfortunately, medical malpractice still happens. Wrong-site surgery is one of the worst forms.

What is wrong-site surgery?

Wrong-site surgery is a type of medical malpractice that occurs when a surgeon performs surgery on the wrong side of the body, the wrong body part or the wrong patient altogether. It’s a problem that can leave patients suffering serious harm and even death.

Why do wrong-site surgeries happen?

Wrong-site surgeries are rare, but when they do occur, it’s often due to doctors not even considering a problem could happen and that they could make such mistakes. This leads to the surgeon failing to take extra precautions because they don’t think it could ever happen to them.

In 2006, a study revealed that out of approximately every 113,000 surgical procedures, one ended up being a wrong-site surgery. While that number might seem small, it can quickly add up. The study showed that around 25 to 52 wrong-site surgeries are performed weekly.

How serious are wrong-site surgeries, and who performs them?

It’s a misconception to believe that most wrong-site surgeries involve younger, less experienced doctors. Instead, it’s mostly surgeons who are experienced who make these mistakes.

Wrong-site surgery is considered one of the worst types of medical errors. Patients suffer injuries, some of which end up being permanent. Others even die. Surgeons who specialize in certain fields have been found to be more likely to perform wrong-site surgery. One study revealed that 25% of orthopedic surgeons and 25% of neurosurgeons admitted to making such medical errors.

Patients can suffer in a variety of ways depending on the mistake. Wrong-site surgery is a problem that should never happen to anyone.