Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

Why do wrong-site surgeries happen?

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If you believe you have a medical malpractice case, it may help to know what types of errors may be grounds for action. Generally speaking, a risky procedure that did not yield the correct results is different from one that was botched. One of the most tragic types of injuries in Virginia has to do with surgeons performing a procedure on the wrong site.

This means that surgeons may operate on — or extract, in some cases — healthy living tissue. Rather than performing a procedure to heal you, a surgeon may end up doing more harm. Please read on for a few reasons why this may occur.

If your surgery happened on the wrong side, it could be that your doctor or a critical member of your surgical staff was impaired. As stated on the website of the Hazleden Betty Ford Foundation, substance abuse is relatively common among medical professionals. Furthermore, high levels of fatigue may contribute to unacceptable mistakes that affect your health, especially in emergency settings.

Although physician and surgeon errors are not unheard of, you may also want to cast your eye towards the hospital in general. Emergency intake staff, bookkeeping professionals and nurses could all have an effect on your surgery. For example, if you and another patient with similar injuries or illnesses were confused with each other, the hospital could have directed your surgeon to perform the procedure on the wrong site. Fortunately, with the strict requirements for bookkeeping in hospitals, you may be able to uncover the real truth through a diligent investigation.

You may have to determine why an error occurred to determine fault. Furthermore, the nature of the mistake may determine who is at fault for your injury. It is not always the surgeon that performs an act of malpractice. Each case is different, and you should only act on specific legal advice. This is only background information.

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