Wrong-Patient Surgery Lawyer in Washington, D.C.
A doctor who performs surgery on the wrong patient commits one of the most horrific medical mistakes imaginable. Unfortunately, the mistake occurs often. The Joint Commission Online Weekly Newsletter reports that “wrong-patient, wrong-site and wrong-procedure” events are the third most common type of medical error.
Some people call wrong-patient surgeries “never events.” In other words, the error is so unreasonable and reckless, and the potential harm is so severe, that an error such as operating on the wrong patient should never occur. Still, it does.
When a wrong-patient surgery occurs, a patient may suffer serious if not fatal harm as a direct consequence. At The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson MD, JD & Associates, our medical malpractice lawyers know how devastating a situation like this can be. We will aggressively advocate for you if you have been affected by a wrong-patient surgery. Please reach out to us today to learn more.
- 1 What Are Common Causes of Wrong-Patient Surgery?
- 2 What Are the Dangers of Wrong-Patient Surgeries?
- 3 Can You File a Lawsuit for a Wrong-Patient Surgery?
- 4 Other Common Surgical Errors Warranting a Medical Malpractice Claim
- 5 How Our Wrong-Patient Lawyers in Washington, D.C. Can Help You
- 6 Our Washington, D.C. Wrong-Patient Surgery Lawyers Are Here for You
What Are Common Causes of Wrong-Patient Surgery?
Performing surgery on the wrong patient – who could possibly make such a mistake? It may strike you as impossible that any doctor, nurse or other medical professional could allow such an event to occur. However, all it takes is a simple overlook or a breakdown in communication.
In many cases, a surgeon may have only briefly interacted with a patient prior to surgery. The surgeon may not have interacted with the patient at all. So, the surgeon doesn’t even recognize the patient on the operating room table.
Communication errors and mix-ups which lead to wrong-patient surgeries are common as well. They include:
- Failing to verify a patient’s identity at multiple stages of the process (including before the patient enters the operating room, receives anesthesia and undergoes the procedure)
- Mixing up patients’ charts
- Confusing similarly named patients
- Putting incorrect information on a patient’s identification band
- Failing to perform a pre-op check with operating room staff.
Wrongful surgery is preventable in 100 percent of cases and should never occur. If it does, the responsible party should be held fully accountable.
What Are the Dangers of Wrong-Patient Surgeries?
Clearly, the dangers of performing a surgery on the wrong patient could be severe. The medical error can affect the health and future of two patients:
- The patient who was supposed to receive the surgery – This patient could suffer a deterioration in condition due to the fact that the surgery was delayed. The need for the surgery may have been so great that the delay causes serious long-term health consequences, disability or even death.
- The patient on whom the surgery was wrongfully performed – The consequences may be even more grave. The patient may suffer from the loss of a critical organ or body party (for example, the wrongful removal of a kidney or amputation of a limb), face an increased risk of infection or other complications, or suffer pain, suffering, high medical expenses and other losses associated with the surgery.
Can You File a Lawsuit for a Wrong-Patient Surgery?
If you have been the victim of a wrong-patient surgery, you have no doubt suffered economic and non-economic harm. Performing a wrong-patient surgery is an egregious medical mistake that may fall on the shoulders of a surgeon, a nurse, or even the hospital if sub-par policies and procedures contributed to the error. When a wrong-patient surgery occurs, any patient harmed by the mistake may bring a cause of action against the responsible party. The lawsuit must establish that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the patient (failed to act in a manner that was consistent with that which another professional of similar education and training would do), that the breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of the patient’s harm, and that the actual harm resulted.
Other Common Surgical Errors Warranting a Medical Malpractice Claim
Wrong-patient surgery in Washington, D.C. is one of the most heinous surgical errors. It is by no means the only surgical error that may warrant a medical malpractice claim against a hospital or specific medical professional. Other errors that may warrant compensation include:
- Wrong-site surgeries (operating on the wrong body part)
- Leaving a surgical instrument within the patient (such as a sponge)
- Wrong type of surgery
- Surgical error leading to patient harm (such as severe bleeding, infection, paralysis or brain damage).
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a surgical mistake, do not wait a moment longer to call an attorney and receive a professional opinion. At The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson MD, JD & Associates, our Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyers are passionate about helping people like you. We have the medical and legal knowledge and experience that it takes to carefully evaluate cases.
How Our Wrong-Patient Lawyers in Washington, D.C. Can Help You
When you call our medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson MD, JD & Associates, we will work on your case immediately. Our services will include:
- Providing you with a free consultation where we can discuss the details of your case and your rights
- Opening an investigation into your claim
- Hiring medical experts and other professionals to assess negligence and damages
- Calculating your damages and issuing a demand letter
- Reviewing and negotiating a settlement offer
- Litigating your case in court if necessary.
We work completely on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no fee for our services if we are unable to recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf. We have the staff and resources necessary to fully commit to your case and improve the chances of your suit being successful.
Our Washington, D.C. Wrong-Patient Surgery Lawyers Are Here for You
A wrong-patient surgery, wrong-site surgery or wrong-procedure surgery should never occur. If a surgical mistake happens, and a patient suffers harm, filing a lawsuit is the best way to recover compensation, hold the doctor liable and ensure that other patients are protected in the future. To learn more about your rights following a wrong-patient surgery in Washington, D.C., please call our law firm today or send us a message. We are here to help you.