You’ve probably heard that this happens; a surgical procedure mix up is, unfortunately, more common than one might think but you never expect to have it happen to you or a loved one. A couple delivers a healthy baby boy named Nate at the University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tennessee. Soon after birth, Nate was sent away for a routine checkup. But when he returned, his mother realized something had gone horribly wrong. His nurse began to mention the procedure they had just completed – that they clipped his tongue – and Nate’s mother broke down in tears.
The hospital had operated on the wrong baby. They had performed a procedure called a frenulectomy, where doctors cut the flap of skin under a tongue. Some form of tongue-tie affects about 5 percent of all babies and can cause feeding or speech problems. Newborns in particular tend to have breast-feeding issues when born with this, which is why many parents opt to have the procedure right away.
How did this surgical procedure mix up mistake happen? The doctor admitted wrongdoing, writing in a report that he had asked for the wrong infant and had performed the procedure on the wrong infant. He also added that he admitted his mistake and apologized. Unfortunately, an apology doesn’t undo his wrongdoing and Nate’s parents worry for his future. Will Nate have speech or eating problems? Only time will tell.
But the bigger concern here is how a surgical procedure mix up mistake like this could happen so easily. A Johns Hopkins malpractice study estimates that more than 4,000 surgical “never events” happen every year. A “never event” is a mistake that occurs that should never happen – mistakes like operating on the wrong person. Research published in Medical Care shows that a patient who is a victim of surgical error is seven times more likely to die in the hospital than one who is not. It also showed that patients surviving a surgical error often return to the hospital with a variety of complications in the three months following the error.
This is why it’s important to bring medical mistakes to the attention of a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Regardless of how small the surgical procedure mix up mistake may initially seem, the repercussions of that mistake could be unexpected. Call Knapp & Roberts as soon as you suspect that a surgical error or other type of medical malpractice has occurred. Legal time limits in Arizona restrict the window of opportunity to file civil malpractice charges; so don’t take a chance on losing your right to a monetary recovery for your damages.
Call the Phoenix surgical errors attorneys at Knapp & Roberts today for a free, no-obligation case analysis. We assume all financial risks, and you pay us nothing unless we obtain a monetary settlement or verdict in your case. Call 480-991-7677 today.
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