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Tips to prevent wrong-site surgery

The doctors and surgeons practicing throughout Kentucky are well-trained and bound by a duty of care for their patients. Despite that, these surgeons aren't infallible. According to a study undertaken by Johns Hopkins in 2016, as many as 250,000 deaths across the country were due to medical mistakes attributed to doctors or hospitals.

Although major malpractice cases are few and far between, one very real threat comes from so-called 'wrong-site surgery." This involves a doctor undertaking a surgical procedure on the incorrect body part or even the wrong patient. Since many surgeons perform several surgeries per day, the details for each patient can blur together. Luckily, there are some common sense tips for preventing wrong-site surgery.

It's always good to ask questions as it's worthwhile for a patient to fully understand the scope of any surgery. Furthermore, it's worthwhile for a patient to have a friend or family member present if possible. That person will be able to speak up for the patient if necessary and might have a question the patient didn't think to ask. A patient is also well within their rights to ask that the surgical area be marked before any anesthesia is administered. This provides a visual reminder that can be confirmed by the patient before the procedure ever begins.

In some situations, an individual that has been injured during surgery due to a doctor mistake will be entitled to damages. These damages could cover pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills related to additional treatment necessitated by the surgical injury. A licensed attorney with experience in medical malpractice law could help negotiate a settlement for those damages with the responsible doctor or their insurance company. If negotiations fail, an attorney might pursue a lawsuit in court.

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