Similar last name, similar procedures, and simple confusion are just some issues leading to surgical errors. Is it any surprise that Texas patients are wary of entrusting themselves to doctors or hospitals? Just how often do these errors show up in medical malpractice cases?
Understand the WSPE acronym
Specialists refer to WSPE to discuss surgical errors that happened on the wrong site, involved an incorrect procedure, or created a patient mix-up. In some cases of a wrong site problem, the surgeon operated on the wrong side. In others, they worked on the right side but operated on the wrong site.
The odds are 1 in 112,000 operating room surgeries
Averaging out the occurrences, studies show that you have a one in 112,000 chance of having to deal with this aspect of medical malpractice. For a hospital, this means that it may not encounter this error more often than once in five years or even a decade.
Operations outside an operating room are riskier
When factoring in the procedures that take place in ambulatory surgery settings, the percentage of WSPEs went up considerably. While surgeons and hospitals put redundancy verification protocols in effect, the actual application of the protocols varies considerably.
In some cases, there are communication errors. These call for in-house changes in procedures. Moreover, when speed contributed to the surgical errors, it made sense to slow down the processes by reducing the numbers of surgeries on a given day. Of course, this is not a popular option because it reduces the income of the facility.
When medical malpractice happens to you
According to the statistics, you have a low risk of being the victim of a WSPE. However, consider that these numbers are averages and individual facilities or surgeons may have greater risk factors. If you experience this type of medical malpractice, protect your rights and consider discussing your situation with an attorney.