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Wrong Side Surgery Surgical Error: Surgeon Operated on a Child’s Wrong Eye

by The Beasley Firm  |  January 4, 2013  |  

A four year old child was admitted to a hospital to undergo surgery to correct his wandering right eye. Instead, of correcting the right eye, the doctor operated on the child’s normal left eye, the wrong eye.

Surgical errors such as this one are listed as “Never Events“, by the National Quality Forum. That means that surgical errors should not happen. If surgical errors are a never event, how can mistakes like this still happen?

Because there have been so many surgical errors, the Joint Commission, the organization that accredits hospitals, developed a “Universal Protocol” that requires every surgeon, nurse, nurse anesthetist, surgical technician or anyone else involved in a surgical procedure to take a time-out to confirm the right surgical procedure, in addition to completing a check-list prior to any surgery. Despite the fact that the 4 year-olds correct eye to be operated on was circled, the surgeon still operated on the wrong side. The doctor was quoted as saying, “Frankly, I lost sense of direction, and didn’t realize I had operated on the wrong eye until I was done operating on the eye.”

Surgical mistakes like this one should not happen. Policies and protocols have been put in place to prevent a mistake during surgery like this from happening. What is even more astonishing is that it appears the child’s eye that was supposed to be operated on was circled and yet still, the wrong body part was operated on. Surgical mistakes such as this one can significantly alter a person or loved one’s life forever.

Our experienced surgical error teams here at the Philadelphia Beasley Law Firm have fought hard for many patients that were victims of mistakes during a surgical procedure that had drastically altered their life and their loved ones life. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a surgical error or wrongful death, please feel free to contact one of our surgical mistake lawyers, doctors or nurses at (215) 593-2630 for a confidential and free consultation. To date, we have had over $2 billion awarded on behalf of our injured clients.

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