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What to Know About Incorrect Body Site Procedures

doctor performing surgery on knee

A woman in Sante Fe, New Mexico is suing the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for an incorrect body site surgery. The patient was meant to receive arthroscopic surgery on her left knee, but the surgery was performed on her right. So, not only was she a victim of medical malpractice and negligence, but she had to have two surgical procedures done. The mishap was discovered during her recovery period on the left knee. The malpractice lawsuit states that her doctors “failed to possess and apply the knowledge and to use the skill and care ordinarily used by reasonably well-qualified” healthcare providers.

What happens when an incorrect body part is performed on?

Having surgery or any procedure performed on the incorrect body site or part is a form of medical malpractice and negligence. The way to go about an incorrect body site procedure or surgery is the same way you would go about any other malpractice case. In general, we recommend these main, four steps:

  1. Record all of the details of what occurred
    • Write down a detailed account of the events that occurred leading up to, during and following your surgery. Try to include as many specifics as possible regarding dates, names and the action(s) that occurred at each point.
  2. Compile the essential documents that are available
    • This can include any reports, test results, records, correspondence, bills, etc. from medical professionals, hospitals, and even insurance companies. After gathering all of the documents you have related to the malpractice-event, it can be very helpful to:
      1. Make copies of these documents (in case anything happens to the originals)
      2. Create electronic backup files so there’s digital backup (that can be easily accessible at any point or location in the future).
  3. Do NOT make any official or recorded statements
    • If you start getting calls from insurance companies (or medical professionals or facilities involved in the incident), do NOT agree to make an official or recorded statement.
  4. Meet with an attorney ASAP
    • This is the single most important step to take when preparing to move forward with a medical malpractice case (especially if you are unable to take any of the above steps). By meeting with a lawyer, you can discover more about your possible case, your rights and the best steps to take as you proceed in order to obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve.

In the state of New Mexico, you may be compensated up to $600,000, not including the additional medical expenses that you incur due to the additional surgery or procedures needed to recover and move on with life. In order to receive the full compensation you are owed, be sure to work with an experienced team of attorneys such as Buckingham & Vega, Medical Malpractice attorneys. We will help you and your family fight for the compensation you deserve.

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