No type of wrong-site surgery is minor to the patient. Even if the damage is not permanent, having a procedure carried out on the wrong location leads to pain and suffering, unnecessary time in the hospital, lost wages, high bills and many other complications.
That said, some issues are more serious than others. In rare cases, a mistake is so grievous that it could cost the patient their life.
For instance, imagine that you are diagnosed with lung cancer. It is fairly advanced and the doctor decides that the only treatment option is to remove the lung. This operation is known as a pneumonectomy. It will have a massive impact on your health and life, but they think you can survive.
Then the surgeon carries out the procedure on the wrong lung. They remove the healthy lung. This could prove fatal as it happens. Or, if you survive the operation, you now find yourself at an impasse. You cannot remove the other lung, but you still have cancer, and the doctors previously thought that a pneumonectomy was your only option.
Do they have to try another treatment in order for you to keep your lung? Will that treatment work? Did you survive the botched surgery just to pass away from lung cancer in a few months? This is the type of catastrophic mistake that should never happen, but these “never events” do take place in American hospitals.
What can you and your family do? At a difficult time like this, it’s important to know what legal options you have at your disposal for financial recovery.