This seemingly impossible error can have devastating consequences for two patients, delaying care for the one needing it and giving the other a procedure that was not needed. This type of error can result from poor communications between medical personnel and faulty protocol on the part of the hospital or clinic.
Wrong Side of the Body
Some bodily organs are duplicate, including lungs, kidneys and, obviously, the extremities. Organs that are otherwise identical may not be properly identified due to faulty preoperative procedures. This can lead to the removal of a healthy organ and the continued existence of the diseased one, with serious implications for the patient.
Wrong Body Part
Some organs, including the fingers, toes and ribs, have multiple elements. The treatment or removal of the wrong finger will be recognized, but only after it is too late. The removal of the wrong rib may go unnoticed. In any event, the result can be doubly painful and perhaps even lethal to the patient.
Wrong Level of an Anatomic Site
This is a particular problem in surgical procedures conducted on the spine. Often resulting from a misinterpretation by the radiologist of an internal image or external pressures placed on the surgical personnel, it can have the same affect as the removal of the wrong organ. This type of error can be eliminated through proper confirmation procedures and greater cooperation among members of the medical staff.
Your Rights as a Patient
Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help the victims of medical malpractice, including surgical errors. They will work to obtain the damages that are needed by victims and their families. If you have been the victim of a surgical error and are seeking compensation, consider the services available from Novak LLP.