Wrong side surgery is a form of medical malpractice. Surgery is an invasive process in any patient’s body. Surgery causes physical and emotional scarring. However, surgery is significantly worse when the wrong body part is operated on. Not only was a body part operated on unnecessarily, which could cause complications, but the body part that really needed surgical attention is still in need of surgical attention. As a result, wrong side surgery is traumatic for patients in more ways than one.
Careless errors generally cause wrong side surgery. Doctors are to have the patient take a marker and draw on the part of their body where the surgery is to be performed, or the doctor will draw the area on the patient’s body themselves to avoid careless errors.
When doctors are not attentive, wrong side surgery can lead to serious injury or even death. Operating on body parts that do not need to be operated on can have catastrophic effects on the patient. Similarly, by doing so, the body part that did need operating on is being neglected. Patients will most likely require another surgery to correct the problem which persists. This will cost the patient additional money, which the patient should not be responsible for.
In cases of wrong side surgery, surgeon or hospital negligence has to be presumed. Thus, the primary issue in this type of medical malpractice cases is how much compensation the patient will recover. This is where an experienced and skilled medical malpractice attorney is invaluable.
Wrong side surgery patients can recover damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, and medical expenses. In some situations, patients may seek punitive damages which go beyond patient’s losses and serve to punish the medical professional to deter future medical mistakes.