Updated on: 10/26/2012
Yes, there have been cases of doctors at Seattle-area hospitals and at medical facilities across Washington State operating on the wrong body part. Just this year our office has received calls about wrong-side amputation, wrong-side testicle removal, operating on the wrong arm and other similar medical mistakes such as leaving a sponge or other medical device in a patient after surgery.
‘Wrong-Site Adverse Events’ Statistics
When a doctor operates on the wrong body part it is known as a ‘wrong-site adverse event’. A study published by The Joint Commission, the primary accrediting agency for hospitals in the US, concluded that there are 1,300 to 2,700 wrong-site procedures annually in the United States. Many experts believe that hundreds more cases likely go unreported each year.
Another study conducted by the Achieves of Surgery determined that so-called wrong-patient and wrong-site procedures accounted for about 0.5 percent of all medical. Overall, one-third of the mistakes led to long-term negative consequences for the patient.
The problem of surgeons operating on the wrong body location, amputating healthy limbs, or operating on the wrong body altogether, is apparently "getting worse," according to Denis O'Leary, head of the non-profit Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. Frighteningly, hospitals are not obliged to reveal such statistics to the public. What we hear about is "just the tip of the iceberg," according to O'Leary, who adds that; "some hospitals are reporting everything, and some hospitals don't report anything at all."
Davis Law Group, Seattle medical malpractice attorneys, has experience handling wrong-site surgery lawsuits and settlements. If you or a loved one has been injured due ‘wrong-site adverse event’ contact Davis Law Group at 206-727-4000 for a free consultation.