Not long ago, National Public Radio reported on the attempt to eliminate “wrong-site” mistakes—some of today’s most incredible medical errors. When a doctor makes a wrong-site mistake, the doctor operates on the wrong body part. For example, say a patient’s right leg needs to be amputated. The doctor amputates the left leg. As unbelievable as it sounds, these mistakes are not rare.
Awhile back, simple rules were developed to prevent these incidents. For example, doctors were advised to mark the correct site for surgery or conduct a timeout during surgery in order to regroup. But these rules have not led to the desired results. Estimates indicate that wrong-site surgeries happen about 40 times per week in the United States.
What causes these errors? Lack of communication is a big factor. Doctors who talk to patients before surgery are less likely to make wrong-site errors than those doctors who do not. Studies also find that surgeons who encourage lower-ranking team members to speak up if they observe something that does not look right are also less likely to make errors.
Unfortunately, not all doctors are receptive to making these changes.
If you or your family member fell victim to a surgeon’s mistake, contact Idaho medical malpractice lawyer Alan L. Morton of Morton Law Offices, Chartered. Mr. Morton helps patients recover compensation for their medical malpractice injuries. He represents clients across the state. His clients come from Boise, Ada, Canyon, Elmore, Blaine, Twin Falls, Gem, Payette, Washington, Valley, and beyond. Contact his firm by calling 888-716-8021 or by filling out an online contact form.
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