Important surgeries are, needless to say, stressful; when a surgeon performs a surgery on the wrong limb, the wrong side of the body, or even the wrong patient, that stress is only magnified. Many might assume that such errors in medical practice are unheard of in America, but thousands occur each year. Louisiana law protects patients who have experienced such traumatic incidents. Victims of surgical errors may choose to file a medical malpractice claim, and while such claims can prove to be complex, wrong-site and unnecessary surgeries are inacceptable in that they are all preventable.
While most Louisiana residents might assume incidents of wrong-site surgeries are few and far between, USA Today reports on the alarming statistics of such errors. Some patients are victims to surgeries on the wrong body parts or the wrong sides of their bodies, but others have recently experienced surgeries that were not necessary to begin with. USA Today remarks on the overwhelming number of patients who experience these surgeries, stating that tens of thousands of times each year, patients undergo completely unnecessary surgeries. Some of these patients fall victim to criminal doctors who perform the surgeries solely for the purpose of personal financial gain. In addition, USA shows that unnecessary surgeries account for a whopping 10 to 20 percent of all operations in some specialties, including cardiac procedures.
The Joint Commission also weighs in on the widespread issue of wrong-site and unnecessary surgeries in the country, providing patients with resources to take action in the case of medical malpractice. According to the Commission, hospitals and other medical facilities that are accredited by the Joint Commission must follow a procedure that helps surgeons avoid mistakes. Furthermore, the organization encourages patients to carefully read through all important documents related to surgery and post-surgical procedures to better prepare them in the case an error occurs.