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Wrong Site Surgery

Wrong site surgery is a never event. This means that it should never happen, and so long as proper safety measures are followed, it is an incident that can be avoided.

Wrong site surgery: a never event

The NHS defines wrong site surgery as:

A surgical intervention performed on the wrong site (for example wrong knee, wrong eye, wrong patient, wrong limb or wrong organ); the incident is detected at any time after the start of the operation and the patient requires further surgery, on the correct site, and/or may have complications following the wrong surgery.

Therefore if you have undergone surgery and medical professionals have operated on the wrong site, you will be the victim of wrong site surgery. This remains true if the problem was detected during the operation, or was identified some time later. If this has caused you further complications (for example, you have had to have another operation), you will be entitled to make a medical negligence claim.

Claiming compensation for wrong site surgery

Wrong site surgery will almost always amount to medical negligence. This means that medical professionals have provided a substandard level of care, causing a patient to suffer an injury. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) consider it to be a never event, meaning it is a patient safety incident that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented.

Indeed, there are strict guidelines in place to ensure wrong site surgery never happens. Medical professionals have a surgical safety checklist to follow, which requires surgical staff to check the identity of the patient and the procedure required before the induction of anaesthesia. Further checks must also be made before the incision of the skin and before the patient leaves the operating room.

If this checklist is followed and the safety procedures implemented, wrong site surgery should be easily avoided. So when it does occur, serious questions must be raised as to why it was allowed to happen. In the overwhelming majority of cases, medical incompetence will be to blame.

Expert legal advice

If you or your loved one has been the victim of wrong-site surgery, you must waste no time in talking to a solicitor about your options. A medical negligence solicitor will be able to suggest whether or not you are able to claim. If so, you will be entitled to pursue compensation for the pain, suffering and financial loss you have incurred.

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Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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