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What is the most common wrong site surgery?

The word surgery is scary, even when it is a planned, routine procedure. Going under anesthesia could present problems, and patients in California and elsewhere are fearful of the complications that could be present. Nonetheless, many individuals go under the knife for elective, necessary and emergency procedure every year, many of them successful with little to no complications. However, when a surgeon fails to operate in the correct location, this is not only an unsuccessful procedure but a medical error that could harm or even kill a patient.

What is the most common wrong sire surgery? When considering the wide variety of surgeries a person could undergo, a study found that 21 percent of hand surgeons, 50 percent of spinal surgeons and 8.3 percent of knee surgeons have performed a wrong site surgery at least one time. Why and how does this happen?

There is ongoing and rising pressure to increase the surgical volume and operate more efficiently. There is a high chance that when and if a surgeon performs surgery on the wrong site, it will be caught by a nurse or other personnel in the operating room. But, this does not always happen. With regards to spinal surgeries, problems can arise, resulting in issues reading an x-ray and knowing where exactly to perform the surgery. Things can get foggy when surgeons have a busy caseload, confusing one case with another. When surgeons are not focused they could make a mistake.

Because one minor mistake could have a major effect, it is important that patients harmed by a medical mistake understand their rights. This could mean seeking legal recourses through a medical malpractice action. This suit not only helps apply liability on a negligent medical professional, but also helps with the recovery of compensation for losses and damages.

Source:, "Wrong Site Surgery Highest Among Spine Surgeons?," Elizabeth Hofheinz, March 13, 2016

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