Medical Mistakes: Operations Performed On The Wrong Side of the Body

Published on  Mar 25, 2016. Posted in Medical Malpractice

When a patient goes in for surgery, they are literally putting their life in the hands of the surgeons. Unfortunately, there are many instances of surgeons operating on the wrong side of the body. The consequences of these mistakes can be devastating.

Deborah Craven went in for surgery to have a rib removed. When it was discovered that the surgeons had removed the wrong rib and left surgical coils in her body, they lied to cover up their mistake. They told Mrs. Craven she needed another surgery because they failed to remove all of the rib in the first surgery. She is currently engaged in filing a lawsuit with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer. Mrs. Craven had to undergo an unnecessary surgery due to the mistake, but many victims have much worse consequences.

Regina Turner went into surgery for a left side craniotomy bypass, because she was suffering mini strokes. Doctors operated on the right side of her brain instead of the left side. Before the incorrect surgery, Mrs. Turner was able to speak clearly and able to function well on her own. After surgeons operated on the right side of her brain, Mrs. Turner lost the ability to speak and care for herself. Mrs. Turner and her medical malpractice lawyer settled their lawsuit, but the details of the settlement are private.

Hospitals call these types of events “never events” because they should never happen. Unfortunately, they happen more than anyone would like to admit. Foreign objects get left inside patients almost 40 times every week. Instances of a surgeon operating on the wrong body part, the wrong side of the body, or even the wrong patient happen 20 times a week.

There have been nearly 10,000 medical malpractice claims in the past 20 years. 60% of these claimants were temporarily injured, 33% were permanently injured, and 6% died as a result of surgical mistakes. Perhaps the most alarming statistic of all is that 62% of the surgeons involved in these incidents were involved in more than one incident.

In the case of Mrs. Turner, the operating surgeon faced no state disciplinary action. Considering more than half of the surgeons have been involved in several suits, perhaps these incidents should be taken more seriously.