How to Avoid Wrong Site Surgery Cheaply
Posted on Mar 03, 2009
To represent a person who’s undergone an unnecessary surgical procedure requires a thorough understanding of who is involved, what procedure was involved, what standards apply in the surgical suite, who the patient is and how communication broke down resulting in this OBVIOUS of a mistake. Instruction on left versus right took place in grade school. It goes without saying that all patients have names and an identity that is clearly marked or should be clearly marked at entry into the facility. And lastly there is the patient’s chart setting out the diagnosis, procedures, conditions and limitations involved.
What takes people by surprise is the obviousness of incorrect assumptions. What causes most of the head scratching is the explanations later given by those who made the mistake.
Like most areas of civil litigation discovery will show there to be a break down in the process of how the system is intended to work. In other words someone is cutting corners or refuses to be told what to do. “It’s never going to happen to me.”, is a statement I’ve heard. Then comes the, “I never believed it would happen to me!” Yes, it can. It can happen to a surgical team including the surgeon, who is supposed to be captain of the ship. Arrogance, being overworked or cutting corners is no excuse for the harm that can flow from such a mistake. This is not a simple mistake. This is a huge mistake of judgment.
Blaming the patient is unacceptable. Just saying that mistakes happen is not a sufficient answer. Just referring to it as an honest mistake is no justification for not knowing what is in the chart, or asking for the patient to identify themselves, or taking the time to mark the correct surgical site or for knowing why this patient is in the hospital.
Below is a list of what sources we examine in this rather interesting examination of human behavior and failure. As we proceed through the month we will examine each element and provide our explanation of why it is important to your case. If you have any questions call me and we can discuss a co-counsel relationship. If you’re a physician and want to discuss it my phone number is available. Don’t allow this to happen to your patient.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part I - Board of Medical Examiners
Part II - The Clinic
Part III - Surgical Services offered
Part IV - The Surgery Center
Part V - The Joint Commission
Part VI - The Joint Commission – Supporting Information For The Universal Protocol
Part VII - The Joint Commission - Most Challenging Standards
Part VIII - The Joint Commission & Health Care Safety and Quality – Setting The Standard
Part IX - AMA Articles – Arch Surgery Journal Articles
Part X - American College of Surgeons – Journal Articles
Part XI - Product and Procedure Solution Options
Part XII - Pleadings
Part XIII - Discovery
The cover letter is the demand letter. The cover sheet is the law suit caption.
Come visit us as we explore this very interesting and somewhat challenging cause of action.