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4 causes of wrong site surgery

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2019 | Firm News

Having to go into a Georgia hospital for surgery is stressful, regardless of the reason. When you are having major surgery, you are probably a nervous wreck. Everyone is probably giving your advice and telling you everything will be fine. You may relax a little, but after you wake up, you realize that the doctor operated on the wrong part of your body. This is a nightmare that no one should ever have to go through. 

Wrong-site surgery mistakes occur all the time. According to Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence, experts can trace this type of medical error to four leading causes. 

1. Pre-op mistakes

Before your surgery, you will undergo some preparation. During this time, the pre-op team may mark your surgical site and verify who you are and why you are at the hospital. Sometimes, they do not carry out these tasks properly. They may mark the wrong site or mark it using incorrect labels or the wrong type of marker. They may fail to verify your information thoroughly, which opens the door for further mistakes. 

2. Organizational issues

Like any workplace, a hospital is not immune to corporate culture. Your surgery team may have internal problems that lead to your surgery mistake. These may include senior staff not taking charge of the team, bad faculty education, staff members who cannot or are afraid to speak up and correct issues, and a lack of policy adherence. 

3. Scheduling mix-ups

The trouble can start before you ever get to the hospital during surgery scheduling. At this point, inadequate/wrong documentation and a failure to verify information could schedule you for an operation that you do not need or lead to surgery order misinformation. 

4. Operating room errors

The medical mistakes may not occur until you are in the operating room. Distractions, rushing through the procedure and bad hand-off communication can set things up to go wrong. Also, removal of the site marks during preparations or not verifying your information are other issues that may occur. 

Regardless of why it happens, wrong-site surgery is a severe problem. You should not have to live with the mistakes others made.