Possible Causes for Surgery Being Done on the Wrong Patient
You may think that the major cause for the wrong patient to be operated on would be in an emergency situation. After all, emergency departments are oftentimes dealing with life-and-death situations. In the rush and stress of these circumstances, it almost makes sense that it could happen.
Yet the reality is that most cases involving wrong patient surgery happen in non-emergency situations. In other words, these are scheduled surgeries.
It would also seem logical that a surgeon would be able to recognize that the wrong patient is being operated on because he or she doesn't show signs of injury. However, most surgical procedures involve internal organs that cannot be seen.
For instance, surgery may be performed to remove a cancerous tumor, seal an ulcer, put in a stent, repair a heart valve or any other number of medical procedures that aren’t obvious to the naked eye. It is not enough for a surgeon to recognize injuries or illness.
One of the possible causes for wrong patient surgery is that protocol is not followed to ensure the right patient is in the operating room. This includes verifying who the patient is before putting him or her under general anesthesia, checking the patient’s medical records and the information on the hospital bracelet.
Another cause could be that records are mixed up, there is some type of communication breakdown or the wrong data is entered into the system. While never excusable, these mistakes can lead to the wrong patient being operated on. If you have been a victim, speak with a Louisville medical malpractice attorney – 1-888-450-4456 or 1-502-210-8942.