When a medical patient in Oregon needs an operation, he or she relies on the competence and skills of the attending physician, and the patient trusts that all measures will be taken to ensure a safe and effective operation. Sadly, when a medical team member, especially a surgeon, is lax in their duties, disaster may occur. Such an issue that has been increasingly problematic in recent years is wrong-site surgeries.
Operating on the wrong part of a patient’s body is something that should never happen in an operating room. However, in 2021, more than 80 wrong-site surgeries were reported, which is a significant increase from the prior year. There are several ways that surgeons and medical team members can prevent this type of egregious error.
Medical team members should speak up if they notice a risk
It is imperative for any member of a surgical team to voice concerns if they see or hear something that poses a risk to the patient before surgery. For instance, a medical worker assigned to transport a patient to the operating room is obligated to confirm that he or she has the correct patient. In a similar way, a surgeon must confirm the procedure that he or she is about to perform to prevent wrong-site surgeries.
It is also important for a surgeon and medical team to take a team member’s concerns seriously and to check and double-check to prevent mistakes and maximize patient safety. If an Oregon medical patient has suffered injuries because of a wrong-site surgery or other medical error, he or she may seek justice by filing a medical malpractice claim in a civil court. This type of litigation often results in compensation to a recovering patient for the damages that occurred.