Surgery is one area of health care where preventable medical errors can occur.
Wrong site surgery encompasses a number of situations such as:-
- The surgery may be performed on the wrong side or site of the body
- The wrong surgical procedure may be performed; or
- The surgery may be performed on the wrong patient.
This definition also includes any invasive procedure that exposes patients to more than minimal risk, including procedures performed in settings other than the operating room, such as a special procedures unit, an endoscopy unit, and an interventional radiology suite.
Wrongful site surgery is also defined as a sentinel event. In other words, this is an unexpected occurrence involving:-
- Serious physical or psychological injuries; or
- The risk thereof of above.
Wrongful site surgery is generally caused by a lack of a formal system to verify the site of surgery, or a breakdown of the system that verifies the correct site of surgery.
Risk factors associated with wrongful site surgery include emergency cases, multiple surgeons, multiple procedures, obesity, deformities, time pressures, unusual equipment or setup and room changes.
It is estimated that wrong site surgery occurs in approximately 1 in 100,000 cases but could be as common as 4.5 in 10,000 cases dependent on the procedure being performed.
Wrongful site surgery can be a devastating experience for a patient.
Pursuing a claim for medical negligence can be a daunting and emotionally draining course of action to take, but we endeavour to make the process as stress-free as possible for you. Contact our team at HOMS Assist today to discuss your options in a confidential and sensitive manner.