People throughout Illinois know that there are risks associated with any surgery, but some injuries and even fatalities have nothing to do with allergic reactions or unexpected problems. One error that is completely preventable is operating on the wrong side of the body or applying a surgical procedure to the wrong patient. Prior to 1999, the medical community lacked a clear process for tracking and reporting these mistakes, but the Joint Commission found wrong site surgeries to be the third leading cause of surgery-related injuries and deaths.
Hospitals and staff take precautions to avoid errors, but there are instances when medical mistakes harm patients. Common causes of wrong-site surgery have been identified, and measures are now in place to stop surgeries from happening on the incorrect side or place on the body. While WWS is very serious, Illinois residents have little to fear because these incidents are rare. Additionally, doctors will make efforts to verify information with their patients before surgery is performed.
When a doctor performs surgery on the wrong part of the body or performs the wrong procedure, it is known as wrong-site surgery. This type of surgical error more common that Chicago patients might think, and it is a major cause for medical malpractice lawsuits. Wrong-site surgery happens when health care providers fail to communicate properly according to best practices. Recent data from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority suggest that the number of wrong-site surgeries is not going down.