Imagine that you go in for surgery on your left knee. You have been having problems with it for some time and you can often barely walk. You’re excited to get it fixed. Everything seems fine before the surgery, and they put you under to do the procedure. Then you wake up, and you’re horrified to discover that they operated on your right knee.
Someone made a mistake, and you’re going to pay the price. Your knee may be damaged in a way that will never fully heal. You still need to have surgery on your left knee at a later date. You now had to endure all manner of pain and suffering that you never should have gone through.
This type of error is one of the most common examples of wrong-site surgery. However, it is not the only one. Despite the umbrella term for these mistakes, there are actually three different types of wrong-site surgery:
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Carrying out the wrong procedure
- Operating on the wrong side
The above is an example of a wrong-side surgery, but it is just one of three critical mistakes. These happen for various reasons: Paperwork errors, communication errors, negligent surgeons, distractions in the operating room, and many more. They are considered never events, meaning they should never happen, but medical professionals are human and they do make mistakes.
If something like this happens to you, make sure you are aware of your legal options. No one deserves to go through this type of experience when they trusted the medical team to give them proper care.