Wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient surgical errors can be some of the most serious hospital mistakes a patient in New Jersey can face. All three of these types of errors are known as “never events” in the medical profession, meaning that they should never take place and require serious interrogation into safety failures in the case of such an incident. These types of incidents include doctors performing surgery on the wrong body part, conducting the wrong procedure or carrying out an ordered procedure on the incorrect patient.
Because of the serious nature of surgical errors and the potential for long-term harm, these kinds of incidents can be particularly severe. For example, a patient may have a part of their body removed in order to remove a cancerous tumor. However, the body part on the opposite side may be removed instead of the affected part. Now, the patient’s cancer has not been treated and a healthy body part was removed. In another example, a patient was given a heart surgery that she did not need; it was intended for a different patient with a similar last name.
This kinds of mistakes are relatively rare; such an error occurs in approximately one out of every 112,000 surgeries. Most hospitals would experience such an event only once every five to 10 years; however, these statistics only note the errors of this type that take place during a surgical operation in the operating room. Other types of procedures, such as interventional radiology, medication treatments or even ambulatory surgery may have a higher rate of such mistakes.
Doctor and hospital mistakes can have a significant impact on a patient’s medical condition and quality of life. People who have suffered a worsened condition due to a medical error can consult with a medical malpractice attorney, who can provide consultation, guidance and representation in moving forward to pursue compensation for the damages done.