I recently ran across a report of a medical malpractice case which is out right scary involving a 52 year old man who had the wrong leg amputated. The case comes from Tampa, Florida and happened in 1995.
Many medical professionals were to blame. The blackboard to which surgeons refer in the operating room at the hospital listed the wrong leg for amputation, as did the operating room schedule and the hospital computer system. By the time the surgeon, Dr. Rolando Sanchez, arrived in the operating room, the wrong leg had been sterilized and draped for surgery. Dr. Sanchez entered the operating room without reviewing the patient’s signed consent form or medical history, both of which were available in the operating room and identified the correct leg to be amputated, and proceeded to remove the wrong leg.
This case is a reminder that even the most experienced surgeons can make mistakes. It is important to be aware of the risks of surgery and to ask questions about your care before undergoing any procedure. If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should speak with an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Here are some tips for avoiding medical malpractice:
- Do your research. Before undergoing any medical procedure, be sure to research the doctor or surgeon who will be performing the procedure. Check their credentials and read reviews from other patients.
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your care. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation.
- Get a second opinion. If you’re not sure about a diagnosis or treatment plan, get a second opinion from another doctor.
- Be your own advocate. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you think something is wrong. If you have concerns about your care, let your doctor know.
Medical malpractice can have a devastating impact on patients and their families.