Can Miscommunication Cause Surgery Errors?


There are several reasons that a doctor may be negligent in their job, including being inexperienced, overworked, or they simply make a mistake. Unfortunately, there is also another reason that a surgical error can occur that is completely preventable: miscommunication.

Far too often, miscommunication can lead to significant problems. This is the same in the medical field and, in some situations, the patients suffer harm because of it. Understanding the importance of communication and knowing how miscommunication can be problematic can help patients should they suffer harm.

Miscommunication and Wrong Surgical Procedures or Patients

Miscommunication can lead to patients receiving surgical procedures they don’t need. For instance, if the hospital mixes up medical records, a person who admitted for one condition may receive the surgery procedure another patient needed for a serious injury.

In other situations, miscommunication can result in the surgery being performed at the wrong site on a patient’s body. Whereas a patient may have appendicitis, a miscommunication may cause the doctor to operate on another part of a body that could result in similar symptoms.

How Do Doctors Prevent Miscommunication?

If you’ve ever spent time in a doctor’s office, even for a routine visit, you should have heard the same question many times: “What is your date of birth?” This isn’t just an inquisitive question to get to know you. The doctor is matching your date of birth with the chart they have to ensure they’re speaking with the right patient.

If a doctor does not ask for your date of birth, they run the risk of making a mistake and can be looking at someone else’s chart. As a patient, you can ask questions to ensure the doctor has your medical records correct and they’re not doing something that can cause you harm down the road.

Miscommunication can be a severe issue and if it happens to you, it’s imperative to have a medical malpractice lawyer on your side to help you fully understand what options are available. You may be able to take legal action if you suffer harm due to miscommunication in a hospital.

Webster Vicknair MacLeodhas a long history of success representing clients in complex legal matters. With regard to medical malpractice, we know how to show if miscommunication occurred and what damage you sustained as a result to pursue the outcome you need.

For a free consultation, we encourage you to call us at (713) 396-5197 today.

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