Skip to navigation
Counsel That You Can Trust & Depend On

Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyer| Wrong Site Low Back Surgery Case

Guy DiMartino Oct. 31, 2014

Michigan City Indiana medical malpractice lawyer discusses wrong site low back surgery case.

Operating on the wrong side of a patient's body is unacceptable in this day and age and this only happens if more than one health care provider is negligent. Hospital, surgeons, and nurses have the responsibility of checking the surgical site multiple times before the first incision is made.

In this case history, the nurse or surgical tech placed the x-ray on the view box backwards so the left side was where the right side usually was placed. The facts are as follows:

  • A patient with a long history of right low back pain that radiated into the right leg

  • MRI showed a disc herniation at L4-L5

  • Surgery was recommended to remove a portion of the herniated disc

  • The patient was put to sleep

  • The patient's x-rays were put on the view box backwards

  • Because of the x-ray, the surgeon performed the surgery on the left side

  • In the middle of the procedure, the doctor discovered the error and the correct procedure was performed

  • After the procedure, the patient began experiencing left sided complaints

  • The patient was hospitalized a number of times for left sided low back pain

  • The patient sued the doctor for medical malpractice.

My analysis of the case:

There is never any excuse for a doctor to perform surgery on the wrong side of the body or the wrong body part. A doctor and the operating room nurses have a duty to check and double check the paperwork, x-rays, and patient's body before making an incision. The doctor's insurance company in this case settled the case quickly because there is no defense for wrong site surgery.

As I reported in an earlier blog, there are multiple wrong site surgeries performed every year in Indiana.

If you have any questions about a wrong site surgery case at any of our Northwest Indiana hospitals including Methodist, St. Anthony, St. Catherine, St. Mary's, Community, St. Margaret, St. Margaret-Mercy, Pinnacle or LaPorte give our office a call.

Indiana medical malpractice law is complex. To find out more about Northwest Indiana malpractice law request a free copy of my book: A Patient's Guide to Indiana Medical Malpractice Claims.