What Is Wrong-Site Surgery?

You go to a New Mexico hospital for surgery, and the surgeon does the wrong procedure on you. This is not supposed to happen and falls under the definition of a wrong-site surgery, according to Hospitals for the Pursuit of Excellence. This type of error not only involves surgeons performing the wrong surgery but also when surgery is done on the wrong body part or wrong side of the body and surgeries performed on the wrong patient. 

This type of surgical error is caused by negligence. Human mistakes lead to these problems, so they are 100 percent preventable. When medical staff is rushing through procedures or pre-operation steps, it can lead to such errors. However, the most common cause is miscommunication.

Communication occurs in many ways in a hospital setting. Verbal communications can get messed up. However, it is more common for wrong-site errors to occur due to written communication issues. Incorrect information in a medical chart or incorrect markings on the surgical site are both things that can lead to a surgical mistake.

To prevent errors like this happening, everyone needs to communicate clearly. This includes you. Ask questions and stay informed about what is happening. Try to verify information to make sure it is correct. The surgical staff also needs to follow all procedures and ensure they are conducting all time-outs and verification requirements laid out by hospital policy. While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand these errors better and how to prevent them. 

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