Why don’t Virginia doctors realize they have the wrong patient in surgery?

It's such a simple mistake, but it has overwhelming consequences: a patient expecting eye surgery awoke to discover she had undergone heart surgery instead.

However, there is hope: physicians have been documenting the causes of wrong-patient surgeries, hoping to correct any mistakes before the surgery takes place. By identifying where the mistakes were made in each case, a new study could help doctors correct many wrong patient surgeries in Virginia before they occur.

The study revealed that a Colorado hospital experienced 25 wrong-patient surgeries in a six-year period. Of the five patients that were seriously harmed by a wrong-patient procedure:
  • Mislabeled biopsy samples were the cause of three different prostate removal surgeries on the wrong patients.
  • One wrong patient underwent eye surgery because another patient with the same last name was in the office at the same time.
  • Doctors performed ear surgery in a child scheduled for an adenoidectomy simply because the wrong patient was wheeled into the operating room.

As trusted Fairfax medical malpractice lawyers, we know that there is no excuse for a surgeon to make such an easily avoidable mistake. We have seen the pain that the victims of these surgeries experience, knowing that their trust was broken and their bodies were violated. That's why we work to hold the hospital responsible for their mistakes and get our clients the compensation they deserve.

If you have been the victim of a surgical error in DC, call Shevlin Smith today at (703) 721-4233 for a free consultation.

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