Performing surgery for a variety of health conditions, ranging from joint surgeries to open-heart surgeries, is a common occurrence at hospitals throughout New York. Most surgeries go as expected with little to no complications. But some may lead to significant complications and, in some cases, additional disability. This might be the case if a doctor performs surgery on the wrong patient.
If this occurs and causes harm, the surgeon who made the error is liable for any resultant damages. So if you were the victim of a surgery on the wrong patient, attorneys in New York from our firm can help you pursue and recover the damages to which you are entitled.
Causes of Wrong Patient Surgery
According to a 2007 presentation at a Patient Safety Conference from the New York State Department of Health, the following factors may cause or contribute to the occurrence of wrong site or wrong patient surgery.
- Poor preoperative planning
- Lack of institutional controls
- Failure of the surgeon to exercise due care
- Mistakes in communication between patient and surgeon
Additionally, failure to perform a “time out,” or a brief meeting with the entire operating team can lead to wrong-patient surgery. During a “time out” staff discusses the following.
- Who the patient is
- The procedure
- Where on the body the surgery will take place
Communication problems amongst the operating team and other hospital staff for something as serious as a surgery seem like they wouldn’t happen but are an unfortunate reality of the times. Errors in diagnosis are another problematic area for hospitals.
Dangers of Wrong Patient Surgery
The potential risks to a patient who is the victim of wrong patient surgery are dependent upon the patient’s personal health background as well as the type of surgery performed and the type of surgery the patient may have required. In most cases, the harm isn’t fatal, but can still be serious. For example, removing a kidney from the wrong patient won’t necessarily cause immediate patient harm, but could be deadly or dangerous for that patient in the future.
Performing an ovariectomy on the wrong patient isn’t fatal, but can forever impact that patient’s life. In other cases, wrong patient surgery can be deadly, or cause the patient immediate and long-lasting health problems.
Wrong Patient Surgery and Medical Malpractice in New York
When a healthcare professional, such as a surgeon, makes an error such as this, he or she is usually considered to have acted negligently. For healthcare professionals, negligence is assigned when the healthcare professional fails to perform his or her duties with the standard of care that’s accepted by the rest of the medical community.
Performing the wrong surgery on the wrong patient is typically accepted as a gross violation of that standard of care, and is a surgical “never-event,” as in, it should never happen. If you have been the victim of a wrong patient surgery, then that surgeon may be liable for your injuries or any harm caused based on the negligence.
If you can prove negligence in a medical malpractice lawsuit, then you may be able to recover damages for any emotional and physical pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and more. If you lost a loved one because of wrong patient surgery in New York, then a wrongful death lawsuit can help you recover compensation for loss of companionship, the deceased’s lost wages, funeral expenses, etc.
Get in Touch with Our Surgery on Wrong Patient Lawyers in New York
Pursuing a medical malpractice claim for damages requires a thorough understanding of medical malpractice law and negligence, as well as the legal system. If you’re the victim of a wrong patient surgery, an attorney can provide you with the legal know-how you need to reclaim damages. New York Civil Practices Laws & Rules section 214-a sets the statute of limitations at 2.5 years from the date of the malpractice, so you need to start filing your claim today.
The surgery on wrong patient attorneys in New York at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. are available to help you file your claim today. Our legal team will fight for your rights, and make sure you receive the legal representation you need to recover damages. To get started, call our offices now at 800-550-0000.