You went to your doctor to address a concern over your health. Several tests and visits later, you learned you needed surgery to fix the problem. You went to the recommended surgeon, scheduled the surgery at your local Georgia hospital and went in for the procedure. When you woke up, something wasn’t right. Your surgeon made a mistake, and now you are the victim of a WSP surgical error.

What is a WSP surgical error? WSP is short for wrong-site, wrong-patient, wrong-procedure surgical errors. While these errors may not happen all too often, they do happen, and the physical, emotional and financial consequences can be devastating to the victims.

How prevalent are WSP surgical errors?

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, WSP errors occur in maybe one of every 112,000 inpatient surgeries. That means that any hospital may see just one error of this kind every five to 10 years. WSP errors are, according to the Veterans Affairs department, more common in outpatient surgical settings.

What are some examples of WSP errors?

Wrong-site, wrong-patient, wrong-procedure errors are just what they sound like. A few examples of WSP errors include:

  • A patient was on the table for a left foot amputation. The surgeon, however, removed the right foot.
  • A hospital scheduled two patients with the same last name for two totally different surgeries. Hospital staff transported the patients to the wrong operating rooms, and doctors performed the wrong procedures on each individual.
  • A patient went in for kidney stone removal and the physician took out the whole kidney despite it being healthy.

There are hundreds of examples of WSP errors out there. While unexpected things can happen during surgery, these errors are not the result of complications; they are the result of negligence.

What causes these errors?

Communication issues tend to be a significant factor in WSP surgical error cases. This is why timeout protocols are common practice in hospitals. A timeout session occurs just before surgery. The surgeon and surgical staff should take time to review the case, confirm the procedure type and location, and ensure the right patient is on the table. Unfortunately, even with this protocol in place, WSP errors do still occur on occasion.

What can I do if I’m the victim of a WSP error?

If you are the victim of a WSP surgical error, you may have legal recourse. You may file medical malpractice claims against all the health care providers who worked your case, along with the facility of treatment. Through litigation or out-of-court negotiations, you can achieve fair and full compensation for your losses.