Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Wrong-Site Surgery Is a Common Preventable Error in MD Hospitals

Compensation for damages caused by medical mistakes

A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University in December 2012 found that wrong-site surgery occurs approximately 20 times per week in hospitals nationwide. Researchers identified the common hospital error of operating on the wrong body part as a “never event,” a term used to describe errors that should never occur.

LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. investigates how such a catastrophic surgical mistake as a wrong-site operation could possibly happen. Our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers then take decisive steps to recover compensation from the hospital, surgeons, nurses and other negligent parties who contributed to this devastating mistake. With more than three decades of experience on our side, our legal team aggressively pursues your maximum award through settlement or verdict.

How doctors can avoid wrong-site surgery

One of the most frustrating aspects of wrong-site surgery (WSS) is that it is so easily preventable. The primary cause of WSS is failure to communicate with the patient, surgical team and other healthcare providers involved in the patient’s treatment. A few simple, quick and effective measures could eliminate this avoidable surgical error, including:

  • Conducting a two-minute briefing — A brief pre-operation team meeting confirms that the right surgery is being performed on the right patient on the correct site and side of the body.
  • Marking the site — Physically marking the site visually identifies the correct area and procedure, which is especially important if the patient is sedated by general anesthesia and cannot speak.
  • Making multiple independent checks — A full review of information, including operative records, consent forms and surgeons’ notes about the patient’s history, can expose discrepancies and allow for verification before surgery.
  • Using a universal protocol — The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and other medical organizations recommend a universal protocol for consistency among surgical teams.
  • Adhering to hospital policies — Every hospital should create, implement and enforce strict guidelines for site verification to avoid preventable incidents of surgical malpractice.

Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help You Recover Compensation from the Surgical Team that Performed the Wrong Operation on You

For more information about your rights after a wrong-site surgery, call LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact our firm online to schedule your free initial consultation. Our Baltimore malpractice law firm represents you on a contingency basis and can take your call 24 hours a day.