| Read Time: 2 minutes | Medical Malpractice
surgeon performed the wrong surgery, can I sue?

There are many forms of medical malpractice. One of the most unnerving types occurs when the wrong surgical procedure is performed.

Not only can this kind of mistake be costly, but it can also have very serious health consequences. 

As a patient, you have the right to expect that the surgical procedure you go in for is the one that will be performed.

If this is not accomplished because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. 

To speak with a surgeon malpractice lawyer, please contact the team at Poulos & Coates today.

Surgical Errors in Medical Malpractice Cases

Doctors often perform multiple surgical procedures a day, but the volume of their schedule should not impact the standard of care.

When doctors perform the wrong procedure on a patient, it means that there was a clear error somewhere in the preparation process. 

There are two types of wrong surgical procedure incidents that could occur. The first is a “wrong site” incident.

This occurs when the right procedure is done on the wrong part of the body. For example, a surgeon may amputate the right foot when it should have been the left. 

The second situation is when doctors perform the wrong procedure. There are endless examples of how this could occur.

In one example, a patient could have gone in for shoulder surgery, but instead, had their knee repaired. 

How Do Surgical Errors Occur? 

It may seem unthinkable that doctors perform the wrong procedure under any circumstance, but it can and does happen. There are many factors that could lead to this type of surgical error.

Some of these may include:

  • Failure to clearly mark the surgical site; 
  • Poor communication between hospital staff members;
  • Failure to confirm the identity of the patient before surgery; 
  • Insufficient handling of the patient chart; 
  • Failure to practice due diligence during surgery pre-check; and
  • Poorly trained or insufficient staff. 

Surgical errors in medical malpractice cases are not always solely the fault of the surgeon. It is important to determine how the wrong surgical procedure occurred to ensure that you are holding the correct parties accountable. 

Who Is Liable When Doctors Perform The Wrong Procedure?

Depending on the circumstances of your claim, the doctor, or surgeon certainly has the duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that they are doing the right procedure on the right patient.

This duty of care also extends to other hospital employees like nurses and administrative staff who have access to the patient file and may negligently input incorrect information. 

In many situations, the hospital or other healthcare institution can be held liable for the actions of its employees. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you determine liability.  

Contact a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

When doctors perform the wrong procedure, you have the right to recover damages. Poulos & Coates is the only law firm in New Mexico that exclusively focuses on medical malpractice cases.

We are good at what we do. Let our medical malpractice lawyers help you determine the value of your claim, who should be held responsible, and the best course of action to get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.

Author Photo

Greig Coates, M.D., J.D.

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Coates has successfully represented plaintiffs in every conceivable type of medical malpractice lawsuit–from single-physician cases to complex litigation involving over a dozen doctors and several hospitals. Dr. Coates has taken several thousand physician depositions in his career involving every known physician specialty and sub-specialty, and almost as many depositions involving hospital personnel such as nurses, techs, and administrators. He has tried several dozen cases to successful verdicts.

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