Richmond Wrong-Site Surgery Attorney
Wrong-site surgery is a type of medical malpractice that is so traumatic for patients it is known as a ‘never event.’ Never events got their name because they are the result of an action so negligent and careless that it never should have happened.
Wrong-site surgeries are sometimes fatal or they require life-saving measures to correct the wrongdoing as much as possible. Even when a patient survives, unfortunately, they are left in permanent pain and sometimes with the loss of a bodily function. If you or a loved one was the victim of a wrong-site surgery, it is important to speak to a Richmond wrong-site surgery attorney that can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How Common is Wrong-Site Surgery?
Wrong-site surgeries are so traumatic, it is natural to assume they are not that common. However, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) reports they receive eight reports every month of a wrong-site surgery. Considering hospitals are not required to report these events, the independent agency believes the actual number of wrong-site surgeries is much higher.
To prevent the high prevalence of wrong-site surgeries, the JCAHO introduced the “Universal Protocol” in 2003. This protocol is a series of steps and checklists surgeons and other healthcare professionals must use prior to performing any surgery. These steps involve communicating with each other redundantly, marking the procedure site, and thoroughly reviewing the patient and their medical history prior to surgery. Even when the protocol is strictly adhered to, mistakes still sadly happen.
Common Causes of Wrong-Site Surgery
Although it seems unfathomable to most people that a wrong-site surgery could ever occur, there are many different causes of why it happens. The most common of these are as follows:
- Lack of protocol: When hospital staff do not follow the Universal Protocol, or their own protocol, it could result in a wrong-site surgery. When certain surgical team members are excluded from the protocol, or the surgeon is solely responsible for knowing the correct site, it could also result in a wrong-site surgery.
- Time constraints: Hospitals are extremely busy places. When there are many unplanned emergencies or an unexpected increase of procedures, things can become confused and mistakes can happen.
- Improper training: All medical staff must always have the proper credentials and the necessary knowledge and skill to perform all surgical procedures. When they do not, and the hospital does not check to ensure their staff members have the necessary credentials, a wrong-site surgery may occur.
No matter the cause of a wrong-site surgery, you must prove the negligence of the medical staff, which is very difficult. A Richmond medical malpractice lawyer will know how to determine liability and will hold the negligence party accountable.
Call Our Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a wrong-site surgery, our Richmond medical malpractice lawyers at MichieHamlett can help with your case. Our knowledgeable attorneys know how traumatizing wrong-site surgery is, and will hold the negligent party liable for paying the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call us today at (434) 951-7200 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.