Doctors throughout the United States perform millions of surgeries and other medical procedures every single year. In 2010, for example, doctors completed approximately 51 million inpatient procedures and 48.3 million outpatient procedures.

When diagnosing and treating patients, providers always take steps to avoid mistakes, but when you consider just how many surgeries are performed annually, it is almost surprising that more errors do not occur. According to WebMD, doctors make approximately 4,000 preventable mistakes during surgical procedures every year. Between 1990 and 2010, though, there were just 10,000 payouts for related medical malpractice claims, or an average of 500 settlements or verdicts per year.

Although minor mistakes that occur while treating unanticipated complications may not necessarily threaten a patient’s health, there are certain errors that should never occur because of the risks they pose and the fact that they are entirely preventable. These include wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient errors, or WSPEs.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, WSPEs are considered “never events” because they should never occur. As a result, providers who have been accused of committing one can find it especially challenging to devise an adequate defense. If a patient has filed a claim against you for allegedly making some kind of wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient error, turn to the medical malpractice defense attorneys at Lubell Rosen. We know what it takes to find success in even the most complicated cases. Call (954) 880-9500 to schedule a consultation.

Why Do WSPEs Occur?

Wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient errors are most often the result of some kind of breakdown in communication. According to Patient Safety and Quality, which refers to such mistakes as WSS for wrong-site surgery, communication failures contribute to approximately 70 percent of such errors. Procedural noncompliance is another common cause of WSPEs and contributes to roughly 64 percent of such mistakes, while poor leadership is at least partially responsible for 46 percent of all cases.

Additionally, there are certain factors that can increase a provider’s risk of making a WSPE. These include:

  • Multiple surgeons in the operating room (OR);
  • Emergency scenarios;
  • Multiple procedures being performed on the same patient;
  • Time pressures;
  • Room changes; and
  • Unusual equipment or layout of the OR.

Risk factors that can increase a patient’s chances of falling victim to a WSPE include obesity and deformities.

Discuss Your Case with a Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer in Florida

If you are facing a lawsuit over an alleged WSPE, turn to the AV-rated medical malpractice defense lawyers at Lubell Rosen. Call (954) 880-9500 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a case evaluation and start building your defense.