Medical malpractice: a review of potential surgical mistakes

Although some Pennsylvanians may live their entire lives without ever having to have surgery, others may be plagued with medical conditions that require multiple operations. Surgery is often invasive, painful and may involve a lengthy recovery even if a doctor performs the procedure with superlative expertise and care. In some situations, though, medical malpractice may occur when health care professionals make damaging surgical mistakes.

One of the most common types of surgical mistake that a patient may suffer is a wrong site surgery. This type of mistake is exactly what it sounds like -- a medical practitioner performs an operation on the wrong part of the patient's body. This type of mistake often involves a doctor operating on the wrong side of the patient's body, such as when a patient's left arm requires surgery, but the doctor operates on the right arm.

Another common form of surgical mistake involves a doctor operating on the wrong patient. The doctor may do the correct procedure but subject the wrong patient to the operation. These mistakes can be devastating to those who suffer them.

Finally, surgical mistakes happen when doctors operate on the correct patients but do the wrong surgeries. An example of this may be a doctor operating on a patient who requires a hysterectomy, but instead of removing the patient's uterus the doctor removes one of the patient's kidneys.

There are a number of important protocols that medical centers and hospitals should have in place to prevent these horrific instances of surgical mistakes. Individuals who have suffered from the mistakes made by their surgeons and other medical providers may consider investigating their rights to sue under medical malpractice theories of law.

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