Home 5 News and Press 5 Wrong Site Surgery is Medical Malpractice At Its Worst

Wrong Site Surgery is Medical Malpractice At Its Worst

There is nothing like wrong site surgery to prompt a family to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is a surgeon’s responsibility to get it right the first time.

There are a number of really shocking cases that I’ve heard about in my time as a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer and this one really takes the cake. It involves a botched brain surgery, performed on the wrong side of the head. For the life of me, I can’t understand how intelligent doctors could operate on the wrong side of a patient’s head, but there you have it.

The patient in question, a 49-year-old woman, first went to the ER at her local hospital, complaining of severe headaches. The attending radiologist spotted a serious leak from an artery in her brain. Unfortunately, he was unable to stop the source of the bleeding and the patient was transferred to an OR for emergency surgery.

The neurosurgeon started the surgery on the right side of the patient’s head without asking the radiologist which side the leak was on. As you may have already guessed, the aneurysm was on the left side of the brain, not the right. Because the surgery was delayed, while the surgeon was trying to figure out which side was which, the patient suffered catastrophic brain damage and died about a year and a half after the procedure.

The enormity of something like this just shakes one’s faith in the medical profession. This is not to say that all doctors make wrongheaded mistakes like this, as for the most part, the medical profession does an enviable job under adverse conditions, and does it well. The point here is that something this important, as in which side is the aneurysm on, needs to be understood before surgery starts. The very fact that the doctor did not ask which side it was on is frightening and is a classic case of medical negligence.

In this day and age, when checks and balances are supposed to be in place to avoid these kinds of situations, it is discouraging to note that things like this still happen. The bottom line is that doctors are responsible to follow protocol, take care, use extra caution and check and double check before they cut.

Wrong site surgery should never happen, but if it does, and you have been a victim of medical malpractice, then you need to discuss your situation with a qualified and experienced New Hampshire personal injury lawyer. If you want compensation, the kind of compensation you truly deserve, it will only happen when your legal counsel goes to bat for you.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit

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