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Wrong-site surgery can happen in multiple ways

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

When people think of wrong-site surgery, they often think of wrong-side surgery. This is understandable, as it is the most common example and it can be very devastating. For example, if a surgeon is supposed to amputate a person’s left arm and amputates the right arm instead, the patient still has to have surgery to do the intended amputation. This type of mistake has changed their life forever.

That said, it’s important to note that there are many different types of wrong-site surgery. Patients who believe they have suffered harm need to be aware of how these errors occur, so here are a few examples.

Wrong-digit surgery

As the name suggests, this happens when a doctor operates on someone’s hand. They may carry out a procedure to fix a tendon on the wrong finger.

Wrong-level surgery

With spinal cord surgeries, a big issue is that doctors will operate at the wrong vertebrae level. A patient may need to have the operation carried out in their lower back when it actually happens closer to their neck.

Wrong-patient surgery

Further still, it is an example of wrong-site surgery if the medical team operates on the wrong person entirely. This sometimes happens if two patients have similar names and their records get switched.

Wrong-procedure surgery

Finally, there are some cases in which the medical team carries out the wrong surgical procedure. This can also be referred to as wrong-site surgery, although the issue is a bit bigger than that. An example would be a patient going in for knee surgery and having their leg amputated instead.

Have you suffered harm due to any of these surgical errors? If so, you may deserve financial compensation and you need to know what legal steps to take.