A hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, is facing a medical malpractice lawsuit after a botched brain surgery. According to a KSDK news report, a woman went into the hospital for surgery on the left side of her brain. But the procedure was mistakenly performed on the right side. The article carried pictures showing the 53-year-old woman with a mark on the left side of her head just before her surgery. Another photo shows the woman bandaged up on the right side after the procedure known as a craniotomy.
The victim’s attorney says that the wrong-site surgery has confined her to a wheelchair and rendered her unable to speak properly. He says that although her head was marked for the correct side, there was likely some miscommunication in the operating room that caused the surgery to be performed on the wrong side. Hospital officials released a statement saying that the wrong-side surgery was caused by a “breakdown in our procedures” and that they are taking steps to prevent such mistakes from happening again.
The Journal of Neurosurgery reports that there have been 35 documented cases of wrong-side craniotomies in U.S. medical history. According to The Joint Commission, wrong-site surgeries constitute one of the most common forms of surgical errors in the United States. The commission reported that there were 956 instances of wrong-site surgery between the years 1995 and 2010, which accounted for 13.4 percent of all adverse events during surgery. It is the second most reviewed category right after “objects left behind” in patients.
There is no question that these types of surgical errors can easily be prevented when hospitals put proper procedures in place and when surgical teams have good communication. The Joint Commission also recommends that hospitals implement a checklist identifying everything that needs to be done for a patient before the surgery including marking the side and site of the surgery. Teams should also involve the patient in marking the site and side and communicate with the patient so they get it right. Finally, every member of the surgical team should be involved and included in the process because mistakes can happen at any step.
Compensation for Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured in New York as a result of medical negligence, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights. One of our clients obtained a $43,940,000 verdict in a birth injury case that involved a brain injury. Please call our offices 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
Source: KSDK News
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