According to estimates, there are between 40 and 60 wrong-site surgeries every week nationwide. These mistakes can cause severe damages that may affect Montana patients for a lifetime. Taking a time out is the practice of medical personnel to have a meeting prior to surgery. This procedure allows for doctors and medical staff to review the case and voice any concerns they have.
According to an associate director working with the Center for Transforming Healthcare, the time out is the last safeguard before surgery. It is the last chance for medical staff to avoid permanently injuring a patient due to wrong-site surgery. The worst thing that can happen, according to the associate director, is for the time out process to become rote.
Wrong-site surgeries are most common in orthopedic operations. Dental and spinal surgeries follow at second and third, respectively. The primary causes for wrong-site mistakes have been listed as human factor issues like staffing and competency, leadership failures like hierarchy confusion or enforcement of policy and communication failures among team members. Communication failures include mistaken or erroneous communication in writing or verbally.
In a case where a person is harmed due to a wrong-site surgery, he or she could potentially recover for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney with experience in medical malpractice law might be able to assist in such a case by identifying the liable parties or conducting witness depositions. Depending on the case, the lawyer could negotiate for a settlement or draft and file a complaint for relief in civil court.