There are rare cases where physicians perform the wrong procedure on a patient. This error could happen in a hospital operating room, an ambulatory surgery center, a cardiac catheterization lab, or any other setting where physicians perform procedures on patients.

If your physician performed the wrong procedure on you, the medical team could be liable for your damages. A Poughkeepsie wrong procedure lawyer could bring a medical malpractice lawsuit demanding compensation for the harm their negligent actions caused.

How a Physician Could Perform the Wrong Procedure

It might seem inconceivable that a physician could perform the wrong procedure. Patients often believe that their doctors know them and their medical history, and are surprised that their doctor could mistake them for someone else.

Many doctors perform multiple procedures in a day; depending on the physician’s specialty, they could perform multiple procedures in an hour. They rely on their staff and redundant protocols to ensure that each patient receives the treatment they need. But sometimes the staff is careless and protocols fail. A misidentification of a hospital patient might happen if the patient:

  • Has a name that is the same as or similar to another patient scheduled for a procedure on the same day
  • Moved from one hospital room to another
  • Switched beds within a room

Even in the circumstances above, the patient’s chart should always move with them, and the medical staff should confirm the patient’s name, date of birth, and the procedure they are having every time they interact with the patient. A failure to do so is negligence. According to the National Quality Forum, performing an invasive procedure on the wrong patient or performing the wrong invasive procedure are “never events”—occurrences that should never happen.

Taking Action After a “Never Event”

If a healthcare professional does not exercise the same degree of skill and knowledge that another similarly credentialed professional would provide in similar circumstances, that professional is negligent. If their negligence causes harm to the patient, they are liable to the patient for medical malpractice.

Because performing the wrong procedure is a never event, establishing that the healthcare providers did not meet the standard of care is not difficult. However, a Poughkeepsie wrong procedure attorney also must prove that it caused an injury and the patient suffered actual losses.

Undergoing any invasive procedure can cause physical and emotional stress. It could keep a patient out of work for some time, and recovery could involve physical pain and require rehabilitation. When a physician performs the wrong procedure on a patient, even if the procedure did not have a lasting impact on the patient’s health, the fact that they had to have a second procedure to take care of the original problem is usually enough to establish harm and entitlement to damages.

Potential Defendants in a Wrong Procedure Case

In a case of medical malpractice due to a physician performing the wrong procedure in Poughkeepsie, the doctor who performed the procedure is liable for their error. But a physician is not the only one who is responsible for ensuring that the patient receives the correct procedure.

Hospitals must implement processes and protocols to eliminate never events and other significant preventable errors. If a physician performs the wrong procedure at a hospital, it signals that the hospital’s protocols are inadequate, and the hospital could be liable for its negligence.

Nurses are usually responsible for carrying out the hospital’s pre-surgical protocols, including confirming the patient’s identity and the procedure to be performed prior to the physician beginning the procedure. Any nurse who interacted with the patient and did not properly identify them is potentially liable.

Pursue Your Claim with a Poughkeepsie Wrong Procedure Attorney

If your doctor performed a different procedure than you agreed to, that doctor committed malpractice. The facility where the mix up occurred and other providers involved in your care also may have committed malpractice.

A Poughkeepsie wrong procedure lawyer could help you prove the harm and establish your right to damages. Schedule a consultation with an experienced local attorney today.