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In December of 2014, the famous NASCAR Champion Pete Hamilton sustained a three-part fracture to his left humerus just below his shoulder joint. Hamilton sustained the injury while on a holiday visit to Georgia, where he slipped and fell.

Hamilton rushed to the Gwinnett Medical Center, where the on-call emergency room trauma surgeon booked him in for an internal shoulder procedure. Unfortunately, Hamilton was in extreme pain when he woke up after the surgery, but the Georgian trauma surgeon assured him that everything was fine.

Read more: NASCAR Champion Pete Hamilton Suffered Surgical Error

In 2011, a four-year-old boy named Jesse Matlock received corrective eye surgery on the incorrect eye. Afterward, his parents were forced to take him to another specialist when it was discovered that Jesse’s surgeon, upon realizing her mistake, quickly operated on the correct eye as well.

Tasha Gaul, Jesse’s mother, revealed that it was uncertain whether there would be permanent damage to Jesse’s previously healthy eye.

The reason for the surgery was due to Jesse’s wandering right eye. The procedure of the surgery was to weaken the muscle at the bottom of Jesse’s right eye since the uneven strength of that muscle was causing his eye to wander. However, it was only after the procedure was completed on the left eye that the surgeon realized she had operated on the wrong eye. She sent a nurse out to inform Jesse’s parents that she was going to operate on both eyes, and the nurse quickly returned to the operating room before they could make any inquiries. 

Read more: Surgical Error Causes Boy to Have Surgery on Both Eyes

There are 6 major surgical errors that have been found to be the most common both nationally and internationally. These errors are most often featured in medical malpractice cases and include the following:

1. Wrong-Procedure Surgical Error

A wrong-procedure surgical error is an error that occurs when your surgeon performs the incorrect surgical procedure on you. An example could be if you were scheduled for a foot amputation, but your surgeon amputates your entire calf instead.

2. Wrong-Site Surgical Error

A wrong-site surgical error is an error that occurs when your surgeon performs your scheduled surgical procedure, but on the wrong part of your body. 

Read more: What are the Most Common Surgical Errors?

In December 2015, Jennifer Melton gave birth to a healthy baby boy at the University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tennessee. Nate was only a day old when he was taken for a surgical procedure that he was never meant to have. 

Nate was in the hospital’s nursery when he was taken by a nurse for a frenectomy whereby the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth was cut. This is a surgery that another child was meant to undergo to remediate his “tongue-tie.”

A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure of the mouth that removes one or both of the frena (connective tissue membrane that attaches one surface of the mouth to another). A lingual frenum is a connective tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. This is the frenum that is removed when a child has a “tongue tie” that affects their ability to speak and/or feed properly.

Read more: Surgical Error Leads to Healthy Baby Mistakenly Receiving a Frenectomy

Wrong Site Surgical Errors

Surgical errors have been commonplace since the dawn of medicine, however, in the 21st century age of rapid innovation, such errors are now unacceptable and more likely to result in successful medical malpractice lawsuits than ever before.

What is a Wrong Site Surgical Error?

A wrong-site error is a surgical error that involves surgeons operating on the wrong area of your body. This type of surgical error is severe, as its aftereffects can be both debilitating and deadly.

Read more: Wrong Site Surgical Errors


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