Help for Florida Victims of Wrong-Site Incidents

Posted by: DFX on Nov 12, 2016

backsurgery-accident-personalinjuryAcross the country, there are 40 wrong-site accidents every week. Of course, a wrong-site incident is when a doctor performs a medical procedure on the wrong side of the patient, does the procedure incorrectly, or performs a procedure on the wrong person. Some cases are minor but in other cases, these are serious accidents that can change lives. Regardless of the severity, this type of action falls under medical malpractice and there is help out there for victims.

These cases can be incredibly serious

Just a few years ago, an 11-year old Orlando boy died as a result of a wrong-site incident when his surgeon put a mechanical implant into the wrong heart valve. It wasn’t until a few years later that the doctor was fined $30,000. In another case, a Tampa resident had the wrong foot amputated.

The good news is that the Florida Board of Medicine has taken steps to try and prevent these issues. Namely, the have a “time out policy” that requires doctors and their surgical teams to “time out” if anyone leaves a room before they begin surgery. It seems to be effective: In wrong-site incidents that took place after this policy was in place, it’s been found that the policy wasn’t followed.

Wrong-site incidents are not always reported

Every state doesn’t report how many wrong-site incidents they have. In fact, there are issues with transparency across the country, with estimates showing that perhaps only ¼ of wrong-site incidents are reported, with the rest simply being dubbed “confidential.” That’s the case in Florida.

Until this process improves, it can be difficult to really raise awareness of this awful and 100% preventable problem. However, there are some measures you can take. You can insist on a patient identifier wristband, you can make sure the information is correct, and you can ask a family member to be your advocate once you’re under anesthesia.

If you have been the victim of a wrong-site accident, or any other type of personal injury issue, then you should reach out to Gilbert & Smallman. With decades of experience, we can help with a wide range of issues. When you reach out to us, you’ll get a free case evaluation. Let us know what you’re facing and we’ll take a look at the evidence, assess your options, and let you know you can best continue.