Wrong Site Surgery Claims Solicitors
“Wrong site” surgery, where a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body, is thankfully rare, but if it happens to you then the results can be devastating.
Sadly, many patients each year suffer physical and mental harm as a result of such negligence, which often seriously impacts their health, and even life expectancy.
Wrong site surgery is known as a “never event” – because it should never happen and always constitutes negligence. A never event is serious, preventable, and has the potential to cause serious harm or even death. If you or a family member have been a victim of wrong site surgery, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation for any pain or suffering experienced as a result.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can guide you through the process; if you think that you may have grounds to bring a case, speak to us today. We will listen to you and will quickly be able to assess whether what happened to you was negligent. If so, we will explain your options and the steps involved in making a claim for compensation.
Do I have a wrong site surgery neglience claim?
In order to prove that medical negligence has occurred, we need to be able to demonstrate that there has been a breach in the duty of care to you as a patient, and that this breach has directly caused harm or injury to you. It is necessary to show that the standard of care that you received fell below what is reasonably expected, and that another similarly qualified professional would not have made the same mistake.
This must have led directly to the injury that you have suffered, rather than it being as a result of another underlying condition.
If you want to know whether you have a valid claim following wrong site surgery, get in touch with us as soon as possible.
One of our experts will examine your case, and if we think that you have good grounds to make a claim for compensation, we can guide you through the process.
What am I entitled to?
Every case is different and the amount of compensation that you can claim will depend on the extent of the harm caused and the impact on you. General damages are the most commonly awarded remedy, designed to compensate for any pain, suffering or loss of amenity.
The amount awardable is calculated by considering:
- the nature and severity of the wrong site surgery
- whether your life expectancy or quality of life has been impacted as a result
- any potential recovery time
- any pain or suffering, physical or psychological, caused to you by the wrong site surgery.
You may also be able to claim for any financial losses you may have occurred if you have been unable to work or have lost business due to the wrong site surgery, and also for any other expenses incurred as a result.
When you begin your claim, your solicitor will assess the ways that your wrong site surgery has impacted you and will calculate the amount of compensation that you may be able to claim in relation to your specific set of circumstances.
When should I make a wrong site surgery claim?
In general, there is a time limit of three years from the date of the wrong site surgery occurring in which to bring a claim, although there may be certain exceptions. It is possible, depending on the nature of the surgery, that you may not have realised immediately that anything untoward has happened; in some instances, it can take months or even years for the mistake to become apparent.
If this is the case, you are able to make a medical negligence claim up to three years from the 'date of knowledge', or the time that you became aware of the error that was made.
If you are unsure whether your case is still valid, or you have any queries and would like to discuss what happened to you, we recommend speaking to us as soon as possible.
The sooner you act, the more time we have to build your claim and the greater the chance of achieving a successful outcome.
What is wrong site surgery?
Wrong site surgery occurs when a surgical procedure has been performed on the wrong part of your body. Between 1 April – 30 November 2020, 226 “never events” occurred in England, 87 of which were categorised as wrong site surgery, according to NHS England.
These events are preventable, and there are procedures and protocols in place to offer maximum protection to the patient and to ensure that they do not occur. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prescribed a surgical safety checklist which any organisation responsible for performing surgery is obligated to comply with. They state that a patient must be fully informed about the procedure that they are going to undergo, and are aware of what will happen, and any potential risks or side effects associated with having the surgery. The patient must provide their fully informed and written consent for the surgery to take place.
It is standard practise to clearly mark the part of the body to be operated on before the surgery is performed, and each health care professionals who is involved with the patient’s care needs to be fully aware of their medical history, and any factors which may be relevant, such as any allergies or potential risks.
When a never event occurs, it highlights a weakness in the procedures and protocols that an organisation has in place to protect surgical patients. If you have suffered from a wrong site surgery error as a result of proper procedures not being correctly implemented, you are likely to have very strong grounds for a claim for compensation for medical negligence.
What caused wrong site surgeries to happen?
Although there are procedures in place to prevent “never events” from occurring, carelessness or human error contribute to a worrying amount of wrong site surgery negligence claims each year.
Whether errors are made in the documentation or patient records, the marks that are made to indicate the surgery site are accidentally removed or wear off, or the surgeon makes a mistake while performing the surgery, any errors made can be catastrophic. If you have suffered from wrong site surgery, there is a very high chance that you will be able to claim compensation as a result.
What are the effects of a wrong site surgery?
There are many potentially adverse consequences when wrong site surgery occurs, which vary depending on the circumstances. Unfortunately, a patient will often need further surgery to correct the error, which can be stressful and may subject them to further unnecessary risk.
Some patients may lose their fertility if their reproductive organs have been incorrectly operated on, and it generally always means a longer recovery time for a patient, meaning that they may suffer greater loss of income. In some rare cases wrong site surgery has proven fatal.
If you have suffered from wrong site surgery, you will need the help of an experienced medical negligence expert to help you to claim the compensation and justice that you deserve.
Examples of wrong site surgery
According to the NHS England, cases of wrong site surgery have included:
- Two patients who happened to have the same name and were also suffering from knee pain, despite having two different medical conditions, were mixed up leading to the wrong patient undergoing a surgical procedure on their knee.
- A patient with skin cancer underwent surgery to remove a lymph node after sweeling was noticed in their groin area. The wrong lymph node was removed, meaning that the patient had to undergo a further procedure to remove the correct one.
- A patient with sciatica was admitted to hospital for lumbar disc surgery, but several factors contributed to the patient having surgery on the wrong side of the spine.
Other examples include:
- surgery being mistakenly performed on a healthy limb
- surgery being performed on the wrong organ, or on an otherwise healthy organ
- surgery on the wrong reproductive organs of women, with the potential to inadvertently cause infertility
- surgery performed on healthy arteries, nerves, or blood vessels
- the wrong tooth being removed under general anaesthetic.
Why trust Sheldon Davidson Solicitors with your claim?
Wrong site surgery should never happen to anyone, and we strongly believe that you should not have to suffer when negligence like this has occurred. The prospect of taking legal action may feel daunting, especially at a time where you may already be feeling vulnerable. At SDS we fully understand this; we know that we cannot change what has happened, but we will do everything we can to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
We are well known for our track record and expertise in this area of law, and we know how to look after our clients, ensuring that they receive any additional support that they need.
If you would like to discuss your case and explore your options, get in touch with us as soon as you can, and we will guide you through the process of making a surgical negligence claim. We will answer your questions, and if we believe you have good cause to make a claim, we will work to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Based in the North West, our leading team of medical negligence experts are trusted by clients nationwide.
Speak to one of our experts for a free initial consultation – there is no obligation to pursue a claim, and we will make sure that you fully understand the options available to you.
Established in Manchester in 1997, we are a leading specialist medical negligence law firm acting for claimants nationwide.
Our expert medical negligence solicitors regularly act for clients across Greater Manchester including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham and Whitefield.
Our team of recognised Surgery Negligence Claims Solicitors can support your needs wherever you live in Wales, England & Northern Ireland.
Call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.