Stuart Florida medical malpractice lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, discusses a recent lawsuit filed against a neurosurgeon for wrong site surgery.
Wrong site surgery is called a “never event.” I have discussed these “never events” in other blog posts and they have been getting a lot of press lately with a recent medical journal article written by doctors at Johns Hopkins University. Wrong site surgery doesn't happen without doctor and nurses negligence. To prevent these events, hospitals have instituted “time out” procedures where the staff takes a moment before the surgery starts and goes over the procedure that is to take place.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently reported that a neurosurgeon was being sued for performing surgery on the wrong side of the brain. The patient went in for a left sided craniotomy bypass and the doctor performed the procedure on the right. A few days later, the mistake was discovered and the patient underwent the correct procedure. The patient now has problems speaking and other problems.
The article cited a Boston author who puts the problem of wrong site surgery this way:
Wrong-site surgery is such an egregious system failure,” Kenney said. “It's so devastating, not only to the patient and the patient's family, but also to the caregiving team because they have made about the worst mistake that they can make.
According to the lawsuit, the surgical staff set up the operating room incorrectly and failed to follow “timeout” protocol.
In this day and age there is no excuse for wrong site surgery – what say you?