Surgery can be a scary experience and you will likely feel happy or euphoric once it is complete and you are awake. But what if somebody finds after the fact that their California surgeon operated on their right leg when it should have been the left leg? This is a medical mistake that should not have happened at all. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website, there are a number of unwelcome post-surgery discoveries that can be the result of medical malpractice.
As mentioned previously, a surgical patient can be operated on in the wrong part of their body. Depending on the surgery involved, an operation performed on the wrong spot can inflict lasting damage. The wrong organ could be removed. A surgeon may remove healthy body tissue when a cancerous part should have been removed instead. Some surgeons may operate on an incorrect area of the spine, causing nerve damage or possibly paralysis.
Another unwelcome discovery comes when patients discover that while the surgeon operated on the right body part, he performed the incorrect medical procedure. The end result of this malpractice could damage otherwise healthy tissue, or make it harder to fix the initial medical problem. Then there are times when surgery patients discover they received the wrong procedure altogether, one that was not related to their condition. Such an incident may have occured because the surgery team mistook a patient’s last name for another patient’s.
Finally, some patients may see that their surgery went off without a hitch, except they find they carried home something extra from the hospital. According to the American Medical Association, some surgeons actually leave surgical instruments inside the patient following an operation. Items such as surgical sponges and needles can be left inside of a patient’s body by accident. Sponges in particular are the most frequent object to be left in a patient’s body. Losing surgical instruments inside a patient can be the result of poor tracking of such instruments or faulty communication among surgical staff.