WRONG SITE SURGERY


Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer and Ohio Hospital Negligence Attorney Represents Injured Plaintiffs Nationwide
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Incredibly, it is estimated that every year more than 4,000 people who undergo surgery suffer from preventable medical mistakes called “never events,”—experts agree these errors should never occur— including wrong site surgery, wrong side procedures, and medical instruments left inside a patient, leading to serious injuries and deaths.

A recent study released on WebMD looked at public medical malpractice claim information for surgical errors from a data bank between 1990 and 2010. Such surgical errors that result from gross medical negligence, like surgeons performing a wrong procedure, on the wrong side or sites have cost insurance carriers and liable hospitals around $1.3 billion after victims file lawsuits to recover proper compensation for injuries and emotional distress.

Preventable surgical errors cause a wide range of issues, with about 60 percent of affected patients suffering temporary injury, a third of patients suffer permanent injuries and over 5 percent of surgical error cases lead to a wrongful death. Common preventable hospital errors that cause injury include:

  • Wrong site: Operating on the wrong part of the body
  • Wrong side: Operating on wrong side—cases have involved wrong side amputations
  • Leaving a foreign object inside a patient’s body after surgery
  • Performing wrong procedure

Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati, Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact serious surgical mistakes have on the victim’s life and family. 


Preventing Wrong Site Surgery & Hospital Errors


In an concerning report, the majority of surgeons involved in a surgical mistake have been involved in more than one previous preventable surgical error, and over 12 percent have been identified in more than one surgical Never Event like a wrong site surgery or wrong procedure.

A relatively easy-to-follow process has been instituted in many medical centers and hospitals to prevent serious medical errors like instrument retention, and wrong site surgery. The protocol involves using markers to designate where the surgeon should operate as well as an instrument checklist.

“Time-outs” can make sure medical records and surgical plans match the patient, tool and sponge counts and the use of technology like surgical sponges with radiofrequency tags can prevent serious injury and error.

Surgeons, doctors and nurses are supposed to double check everything before making any incision, and confirm that the correct procedure is being performed. Wrong side surgery errors result from doctors and nurses failing to follow basic protocol, perhaps stemming from lacking of training in a particular hospital. Common reasons for surgical errors can include:

  • Lack of site verification when multiple procedures are scheduled
  • Ineffective communication or medical briefing
  • Documentation not used to verify patient, procedure, site and side
  • Site mark removed during surgery prep
  • Time-outs do not occur when multiple procedures are performed
  • Leadership is not actively engaged
  • Inconsistent organizational focus on patient safety
  • Staff are not empowered to speak up
  • Inconsistent staff education
  • Pressure to increase surgical volume may lead to shortcuts

Legal Action Following Wrong Site Surgery


Despite basic safety procedures in place, major surgical mistakes still occur due to miscommunication, carelessness, negligence and fatigue. Wrong site surgery, wrong procedure, and wrong patient errors are more common than previously thought, and are totally inexcusable.

Performing a procedure on the wrong side of a patient’s body is one the worst medical errors that a medical team and hospital can make and compensation for the victim can include the recovery of medical expenses, lost wages and the pain and suffering involved with the distressing situation.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Questions about Medical Malpractice

What is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Hospitals, medical staff, nurses and doctors are responsible for providing proper patient care. When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties.

Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.

Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis, it is simply propaganda created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked.

Currently, 90 percent of juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.

What is a “Never Event” in Hospital Care ?

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 required that conditions be identified that (a) are costly and occur at high rates, (b) are assigned as cases to the Diagnosis-Related Group, and (c) could have ultimately been prevented with appropriate care. These hospital-acquired conditions occur as negligence on the part of hospital staff and often result in a multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Conditions that meet the three requirements for identification:

What if a hospital makes me an offer directly?

Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.

We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer present. Hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel.

The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.

Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.

If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim.

There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement.

The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.

If a hospital is approaching you or a family member about a settlement without a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice lawyer, please call (800) 513-2403 for a free consultation.

Why hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world

Your Right to Safe healthcare

Watch our Video About the Legal Process

A recently published study titled, A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, estimated that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes that could have been prevented.

This places medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Further, the Office of The Inspector General estimated 180,000 deaths per year are due to medical mistakes. And a Study from Journal of Patient Safety estimated that the number of preventable deaths is between 210,000 and 440,000.

Incredibly, the Wrong Site Surgery Project Study found that national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries, may be as high as 40 per week. 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BOWEL OBSTRUCTION

WRONGFUL DEATH

(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BREAST CANCER

$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.

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