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Good preparation can help prevent wrong-site surgery

Generally, we hold doctors in high esteem. This can be especially true of surgeons. For most of us, the mind boggles at the work they can do with a scalpel or other tools of their trade. For this reason, we may even be somewhat in awe their skills.

Therefore, it may seem inconceivable that a doctor who is performing a surgical procedure on a patient could operate on the wrong body part. Yet, such medical mistakes do happen. The term for such unfortunate incidents is "wrong-site surgery."

A wrong-site surgery event could happen in different ways. A doctor may accidentally operate on the left side of a patient when the problem is on their right side. Another common example of wrong-site surgery is when a neurosurgeon operates on the wrong location of a patient's spine.

The likelihood of committing a wrong-site surgical error may be decreased if doctors and their teams communicate effectively. One measure that can be taken is the use of a surgical time out, in which the operating personnel pause to review a procedure prior to its undertaking. Additionally, procedural checklists can also be employed as a means of ensuring an operation is being performed correctly.

There is simply no reason for a wrong-site surgical error to occur. In committing such mistakes, medical professionals can do terrible physical and emotional harm to a patient. In extreme cases, the injuries a patient suffers could even prove fatal.

If you, or someone in your family, is ever injured due to a wrong-site surgical error, you may wish to file a medical malpractice suit against those at fault. By examining the hospital records of your operation and collecting other important information, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you build your case.

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