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How often does wrong site surgery happen?

Can you imagine going in for surgery in Connecticut and waking up to find out that the wrong arm was amputated? What about finding out that a surgeon replaced the wrong hip or removed a mass from the wrong lung? Many people worry about this all the time, but how often does wrong site surgery actually happen?

The answer may surprise you. According to some sources, it happens about 40 times each week or almost six times a day. Those are national numbers, but they still help you see how much of an issue this can be in Connecticut.

Those statistics come from the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, which looked into the issue. What makes this so disturbing is that these are the type of events that most medical professionals agree should not happen at any time, let alone every four hours.

To find these statistics, the study looked at just eight different ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals.

When asked why these events happen so often, those who worked on the study said the answer wasn't easy to find. Often, multiple factors contributed to the mistakes. These factors could include poor communication or a lack of coordination among staff members.

Wrong site surgery is more than just having the wrong procedure carried out. It could also include doing the right procedure, but accidentally doing it on a different patient.

If you have been harmed due to hospital errors, even if they are not as serious as those discussed above, you must be aware of all of the legal options that you have to seek compensation.

Source: Medscape, "Wrong-Site Surgery Occurs 40 Times a Week," Mark Crane, accessed June 16, 2015

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