There are four different ways that wrong site surgery, often referred to as WSS, can occur. First of all, surgery could be done on the wrong side of a patient, such as amputating the left arm when the right arm needed amputations. The surgery can also, as the name implies, simply occur at the wrong site, such as when surgery is done on a leg instead of an arm.
The third way for this to happen is when the surgeon does work on the proper area, but he or she does the wrong type of surgery. Also, the surgeon could do the right surgery in the right location, but he or she could do it all on the wrong individual patient.
For a long time, these types of mistakes, which are entirely preventable, did not get the attention that they deserved. Many surgeons and medical professionals knew that these things happened, but they did not know the full extent or how often they happened. Then, in 1999, the Institute of Medicine put out a report calledTo Err Is Human. The report exposed these mistakes and brought them into the public eye, and they have been discussed ever since.
The definition has also been broadened to include general mistakes, like doing surgery in the emergency room instead of the operating room when such a thing was not necessary or in any way making the risk greater for the patient.
Those who have been injured by wrong site surgery in Illinois must know what legal rights they have since, as noted above, this type of issue is preventable.
Source: NCBI, "Wrong-Site Surgery: A Preventable Medical Error" Deborah F. Mulloy, Ronda G. Hughes., accessed Feb. 11, 2015