We Fight for You
Photo of professionals at Winckler & Harvey PLLC

4 common reasons behind wrong-side surgery in Texas

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Wrong-side surgery, also called wrong-site surgery, is a medical error that occurs when a surgeon operates on the incorrect part of a patient’s body. Despite stringent safety protocols and advanced technology, such incidents continue to happen in Texas.

Understanding the underlying causes can shed light on how to prevent such errors.

1. Communication breakdowns

One major factor in wrong-side surgery is communication breakdowns. In the fast-paced environment of operating rooms, miscommunication or failure to verify information can lead to disastrous consequences. Surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists and other staff members must effectively communicate and double-check pertinent details before proceeding with a surgical procedure.

2. Inadequate preoperative verification

Another common cause of wrong-side surgery is inadequate preoperative verification processes. Surgeons and their teams are responsible for confirming the correct patient, procedure and surgical site prior to the operation. However, lapses in verification protocols or reliance on outdated methods can result in errors. Implementing standardized checklists and using modern technology can help mitigate this risk.

3. Fatigue and stress

The demanding nature of surgical work can also contribute to wrong-side surgery incidents. Surgeons and health care professionals often work long hours under high levels of stress and fatigue, increasing the likelihood of mistakes. Fatigue can impair cognitive function and decision-making abilities, leading to errors in judgment or execution during surgery.

4. Lack of proper training and experience

Inexperienced or inadequately trained medical personnel may also contribute to wrong-side surgery occurrences. Surgeons, particularly those new to their field or unfamiliar with specific procedures, may be more prone to mistakes.

Wrong-side surgery is a serious patient safety issue, and patients deserve the highest standard of care.

FindLaw Network