When things go drastically wrong in a hospital setting, patients can become the victims of wrong-site surgery. As the name implies, this happens when surgery is carried out on the wrong part of the body, such as when the wrong foot is amputated. It can also happen when the wrong procedure is done or when the right procedure is done on the wrong person.

Naturally, this can be one of the worst things to happen to a patient, especially in amputation cases, because the proper surgery will still need to be carried out. To prevent it, it can be helpful to identify some of the common causes.

Scheduling Mistakes

Mistakes in scheduling can be made in a variety of ways. A scheduler who is supposed to double-check the information may neglect to do so, or someone who is only supposed to take written scheduling requests may take verbal ones instead, meaning all schedules may not match up. Mistakes can also be made when patients have similar names.

Site Marking Errors

In pre-op, marks are supposed to be made on the proper site where the surgery is to occur. However, someone may use an unauthorized device to make the mark, leading to confusion, or someone who will not actually be doing the surgery may make the marks. With any small amount of miscommunication, the wrong site can be marked and the surgeon may never know.


One of the biggest reasons that these mistakes occur is because the medical team is rushing. They may identify other issues -- like an ineffective briefing, missing documents, or a lack of verification -- but they won't stop because they're in a hurry. There can also be issues with the medical team, where they may feel like they should say something, but those who aren't the surgeon may not feel emboldened to speak up when needed, especially when everyone else is in a rush.


Have you been victimized by wrong-site surgery? Whether you're facing life-altering changes or not, you may deserve compensation. Make sure you know what options you have if you think a medical malpractice suit is warranted.