What to Do If You've Been a Victim of Wrong Site Surgery
Many people have a great fear of surgery – perhaps they’re afraid of an instrument left inside of a body cavity or even the surgeon operating on the wrong site. This fear isn’t completely unfounded – in fact, according to the ECRI Institute, “wrong-site, wrong-patient, and wrong-procedure surgery continues to be the sentinel event most frequently reported to the Joint Commission, with 1,196 such events reported through September 30, 2015.”
Here’s what you should do if you’ve been the victim of wrong site surgery.
Consider Transferring Your Care to Another Physician or Surgeon
Once you’ve been notified or discover that you’ve been operated on incorrectly, you should continue to receive medical care to ensure that there are no complications from the surgery and that your healing progresses as normally as possible. However, you may not want to continue visiting the same surgeon. Consider transferring your care to another surgeon in the same specialty who can monitor you for the next several weeks.
Take Photographs and Journal Your Progress
It’s important that you keep detailed records of everything post-surgery. Take photographs of your healing incisions and journal how you’re feeling and what you’re able to do each day. Did performing surgery on the wrong site incapacitate you more significantly or for longer than you would have been if the surgeon had operated on the correct site? Are you experiencing undue pain or complications? This information is crucial to your case and it’s often better to write it down as it’s happening rather than attempt to recall it later should you pursue a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon.
Review the Facts of Your Case with an Attorney
Wrong site surgery is life changing and isn’t something you have to accept. This type of surgical error is almost always due to carelessness in the hospital or operating room and is completely preventable when proper procedures are followed, including the confirmation and reconfirmation of patient information by multiple staff members before the surgery is performed.
At The Mellino Law Firm, we have worked with many patients and family members of patients who have been the victim of wrong site surgery. We will aggressively champion for the rights of the patient and will seek the full and fair compensation you deserve for the damages you’ve incurred, including damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to being operated on incorrectly.
Contact The Mellino Law Firm at (440) 276-3535 to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation today. We are available now to assist you during this difficult time.