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Estate /

Can name confusion result in receiving the wrong surgery?

| May 30, 2018 | Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are a tragic form of medical malpractice not only because they can result in great harm or even death, but because they should never happen at all. Many surgical mistakes occur as a result of poor planning or organization. Sometimes a New York patient that is scheduled for an operation may actually receive the wrong type of surgery. In these cases, the surgery was intended for someone else and a mix-up occurred.

According to an article run on the CNN website, one type of medical mistake that can occur in a hospital is that patients may receive the wrong kind of surgery. This happens because the hospital staff mistakes one patient for another. Commonly, this is because the last name of the patient is similar to the name of a different patient. For instance, a man named “Johnson” may be confused with a man whose surname is actually “Jonson” and receive the operation that was scheduled for Jonson.

Patients who are scheduled for surgery should do all they can to make sure the hospital does not mistake them for another patient. The CNN article advises patients to have the staff verify their identity. This includes confirming the full name of the patient, the date of birth, and the barcode on the wristband worn by the patient in the hospital. Verifying this information can help distinguish patients from each other and prevent mix-ups based on similar names.

The consequences of a wrong surgery can be devastating. Someone who has experienced the wrong surgery can end up with a worse condition which may never be fully corrected even if the patient receives compensation for the malpractice. Making sure a hospital verifies your identity before an operation can save you a lot of trouble and heartache.

This article, while intended to inform the reader on medical malpractice, should not be taken as legal advice.


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