Oklahoma Wrong-Site Surgery Attorney
Wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient errors (WSPEs) are some of the most terrifying forms of surgical errors. They are what the National Quality Forum calls “never events,” or events that would not happen in a reasonably safe and prudent hospital. Wrong-site surgeries indicate major safety issues within the operating room, such as lack of communication or negligent surgeons. Wrong-site surgeries can result in unnecessary procedures and scarring in the patient. Bryan & Terrill Law offers legal representation to victims of wrong-site surgeries in Oklahoma. Contact a wrong-site surgery lawyer at Bryan & Terrill today to set up your free consultation.
The Dangers of Wrong-Site Surgery
WSPEs receive widespread media attention because of how dramatic these errors are, but in reality, wrong-site and wrong-patient surgeries are relatively rare. A major study estimated that WSPEs occur in only one in 112,000 surgical procedures. An individual hospital may make this critical error only once every five to 10 years. Still, there are patients who become the victims of these calamities. Note that data for surgical procedures that occur outside of hospitals, such as in the field or in ambulances, could show a much higher rate of wrong-site incidents.
Surgeons, surgical assistants, operating nurses, and other staff members must work together to prevent wrong-site surgeries. There are systems in place to stop WSPEs from occurring. These may include instructions for surgeons to mark the correct site beforehand, or a mandatory “planned pause” prior to starting the procedure to review imperative details of the surgery. Surgical center protocols, safety precautions, and pre-operative checklists can serve to greatly reduce the number of wrong-site and other WSPE events.
Wrong-site surgery can result in a patient unnecessarily losing an organ or portion of an organ, suffering scars on the wrong part of the body, and failing to receive the surgery that he or she actually needed. The scenarios can be devastating and terrifying experiences for the patient, causing great emotional distress. When a patient suffers physical, mental, emotional, or financial damages due to a wrong-site surgery, he or she may be eligible for compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
Contact a Wrong-Site Surgery Lawyer in Oklahoma
To prove that a wrong-site surgery is a compensable act of medical malpractice, the victim must show that the defendant (the offending party) owed a duty of care. This is typically easy to prove, since the operating surgeon and surgical facility owe strict standards of care to all patients. The patient must also show that the defendant breached this duty in some manner. A breach is any act that goes against accepted standards of care, resulting in harm to another person. The defendant’s breach of duty must be the proximate cause of the patient’s harms.
Medical malpractice claims in Oklahoma require very specific filing procedures and elements of proof. Always retain an experienced lawyer for assistance with these types of cases. As the victim of something as horrible as a wrong-site surgery, protect your rights with help from the team at Bryan & Terrill Law. Our wrong-site surgery lawyers have years of medical malpractice experience, and can help you explore your legal opportunities. Request a consultation today if you believe you have grounds to bring this type of claim.