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Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorney Explains Types of Wrong Site Surgery

Mellino Law Firm

It may seem unimaginable that a medical professional could operate on the wrong side of a patient’s body, but it happens more often than you may think. If you you have a question about a surgical error, attorney Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office. You may also download or request Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide to filing a claim in Ohio.

Reasons Wrong Site Surgery May Occur

Despite safety measures put in place to avoid committing this most preventable medical mistake, cases have cited the following as reasons:

  • emergency situations;
  • pressure to finish the procedure in a limited amount of time;
  • inadequate equipment set-up;
  • lack of communication among multiple surgeons;
  • multiple procedures taking place simultaneously;
  • communication breakdown between the surgical team and the patient;
  • failure to mark or verify the site before surgery;
  • inadequate patient assessment;
  • incomplete preoperative assessment; and
  • an understaffed operating room.

Universal pre-surgery protocol typically involves pre-surgery verification (everyone going over medical records, the procedure, and the intended site of the procedure), marking the area to be operated on, and a time-out period (review of the procedure before making an incision).

It is difficult to defend a medical malpractice claim when the wrong limb has been amputated or the wrong organ has been removed.

The implications of this sort of malpractice cannot be underestimated. Not only does the patient’s original health problem go unaddressed, but serious complications could arise following the unnecessary surgery or during recovery. These complications could then delay the correct surgery from being performed, and may lead to a worsening or development of medical complications.


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