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Common Reasons for Wrong-Site Surgery – And What You Can Do to Prevent It

Wrong site surgery happens when the wrong part or the wrong patient is operated upon. This can happen if a patient’s left lung is operated on, for example, when the patient went in for surgery on their right lung. In some cases, wrong site surgery means that the wrong limb is amputated or even that there is a patient mix-up, where a patient has a surgery intended for someone else.

Wrong site surgery can be devastating. It can mean that a patient loses a healthy limb or suffers serious complications from a medical procedure they should never have received. According to statistics, about 90 wrong site surgeries happen in American hospitals each year – and many are preventable.


If you’ve had a negative outcome after surgery and you suspect medical malpractice in Hollywood, Miami, or your Florida community, contact Flaxman Law Group. We can review your situation with you in a free consultation so you understand whether you have a legal claim – and how much your claim may be worth.

Why Wrong Site Surgery Happens

There are many reasons why wrong site surgery happens:

  • X-rays may be flipped upside down, leading to confusion
  • Medical staff may fail to mark the surgical site ahead of time
  • Reading errors may be made when preparing for surgery
  • Operating rooms may be understaffed or poorly organized
  • Medical staff may fail to double-check before starting a medical procedure
  • Patient mix-ups may happen, especially if patients are kept in the same room or have similar names
  • Fatigued medical staff or overworked medical staff

Wrong site surgery is considered entirely preventable. There is no reason for it to happen, yet Americans find their lives devastating by these incidents.

What You Can do to Prevent Surgery Malpractice in Hollywood or Your Community

Ultimately, it is the responsibly of medical staff and medical facilities to prevent wrong site surgery and medical malpractice. If you’re having a medical procedure, however, there are a few things you can do to prevent this issue:

  • Repeat information often. Nurses, doctors, and other staff may ask you to confirm information about allergies, medical conditions, and basic things like your name and birth date. Be patient with this process, which can help prevent errors. Review any information you feel is pertinent before your surgery.
  • Have one person in charge of your care. Know who is in charge of your procedure and discuss the procedure with them before the surgery.
  • Have a health advocate. A family member or friend who stays by your side in the hospital or clinic can offer information and can speak up for you when you cannot.
  • Speak up. If you have concerns or questions, speak up. If you think something is wrong, ask questions. Don’t be afraid of seeking a second opinion if you need to.
  • Ask for the surgery site to be marked. A mark on your body will remind medical staff where the surgery is supposed to happen.

If you have suffered a complication due to wrong site surgery or any preventable error, you can always contact Flaxman Law Group for prompt, compassionate legal advice and representation. The attorneys at our law firm have more than 60 years of combined experience and a track record of thousands of successful cases. If you’ve been injured, we’d be happy to set up a free consultation so that we can listen to your situation.


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