Operations on the wrong body part or even worse on the wrong patient are completely avoidable medical disasters. Nearly 75,000 operations are failures every year. According to a study commissioned by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, one patient recently died after a surgery was performed on the wrong lung.
Communications failures between the surgeons, nurses and techs is usually the cause of these mistakes–that is why hospitals require every surgical team to call a “timeout” before each procedure begins. The Joint Commission, is a group that certifies health care providers. It has issued rules to prevent wrong-site surgery called the “Universal Protocol.” These rules were supposed to be mandatory in all hospitals and accredited surgical outpatient centers.
Not all wrong-site procedures are caused by a surgeon operating on the wrong body part. Sometimes, the mistake is caused by actually doing wrong procedure or worse the wrong patient. It happens with frightening frequency. In each case the mistake could have been easily avoided.
Occasionally a medical error is the result of confusing one X-ray film with another. It is difficult for radiologist to determine if the X-Ray they are reviewing is for the correct patient. Estimates that as many as 1 out of 10,000 radiological examinations have the wrong patient’s information. This is especially true when radiologists interpret films from an offsite location.
Recent studies by Emory University have recommended that photographs of patients been added to each x-ray to reduce the frequency of mismatching images. Placing photographs of the patients on each X-ray film was found to increase both the accuracy of the clinical diagnoses and speed of the interpretation. Our Florida hospital accident attorneys are skilled and experienced in the representation of patients who have been hurt due to a wrong-site operations. We are dedicated to holding doctors and hospitals operating room teams responsible for careless errors and are committed to making healthcare safer for every patient.