Wrong Site Surgery and Medical Malpractice

Surgery is a complicated, delicate process that can involve numerous members of the hospital staff from various disciplines. A patient should go into a surgical procedure confident that the doctors and nurses attending to them have a clear idea of what is to be done during the surgery. Unfortunately, emergency operations and lax safety checks have resulted in numerous instances of wrong site surgery mistakes.

If you or a loved one has experienced an instance of Kentucky medical malpractice involving damages from a wrong site surgery you may need the help of a Louisville medical malpractice lawyer to help you fight for a fair settlement.

Universal Pre-Surgery Protocol

Surgeons and their teams have a standard protocol they must follow to prevent errors such as wrong site surgery. Before an operation, the team should follow these 3 guidelines: 

  • Pre-procedure verification - The entire surgical team should verify the procedure to be performed, the correct patient to be operated on, and the exact site of the surgery. Medical records are reviewed once more to ensure all of the factors are correct.
  • Marking of surgical site - A member of the surgical team should mark the exact site where the incisions will be made. This person will be held accountable for the procedure and must be present during the operation.
  • Time out - Prior to making any incisions, a member of the team should be designated to start a "time out." During the time out, all members of the team review the procedure, surgical site, and patient identity one final time. 


The time out guideline is often ignored to expedite the surgical process, leading to many more wrong site surgery instances and Kentucky medical malpractice claims.

Dangers of Wrong Site Surgery

Wrong site surgery has 2 major dangers to the patient. First, there is the damage to the site that is erroneously operated on; a typically healthy area that is now damaged. Second, there is the issue that while the wrong site is being operated on, the injury that should be corrected is left to worsen.

In the case of emergency surgery, a wrong site surgery error can be fatal
if the emergency injury is not attended to quickly. Many wrong site surgery cases have taken place where a surgeon begins a procedure only to find they've operated on the wrong area. By the time they relocate the procedure to the correct area, the damage has been done by the injury and the patient suffers severe complications, even death.

Seeking Damages from a Wrong Site Surgery

A wrong site surgery may have a series of consequences to the patient and their family, causing them to seek a Kentucky medical malpractice claim. In the best case scenarios, the wrong site surgery is corrected quickly and the proper operation is performed. Unfortunately, many errors lead to further degradation of the patient's condition that warrants the surgery.

You and your family may seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical expenses and loss of potential income. Damages for pain and suffering after a wrong site surgery are also common in a Kentucky medical malpractice claim.

When building your Kentucky medical malpractice claim, you'll want the experience and knowledge of a Louisville medical malpractice lawyer at Gray and White Law. Our attorneys will give your case the personal attention it requires and work with our team of experts to fight for your case. Contact us today for a free case consultation - 1-888-450-4456.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law