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The National Health Service describes wrong site surgery as “a surgical intervention performed on the wrong site; the incident is detected at any time after the start of the operation and the patient requires further surgery, on the correct site, and/or may have complications following the wrong surgery.” Typical instances includes operations on the wrong knee, wrong eye, wrong patient, wrong limb, or even wrong internal organ.
There are still more than 100 such cases in England each year
The problems that wrong site surgery creates and the distress that it causes are obvious and the NHS and World Health Organisation both provide comprehensive guidance to surgical teams on how it should be avoided.
This includes the use of wristbands and checklists, yet there are still more than 100 such cases in England each year. In almost all cases, medical negligence will be involved, but even in apparently straightforward cases such as wrong site surgery, bringing a medical negligence claim can be complicated and expert legal advice is essential.