Most New York physicians would probably agree that wrong-site surgery is one of the most preventable of surgical errors. The term "wrong-site surgery" includes not only surgery performed on the wrong part of the body, but also the wrong surgical procedure and surgery on the wrong patient. Wrong-site surgery is a relatively rare occurrence, but there is also evidence that as few as ten percent of cases are reported. The number of reported cases has, however, been increasing in recent years.
When wrong-site surgery does occur, it can result in devastating consequences for the patient. Not surprisingly, a high percentage of these cases result in malpractice claims. Eighty-four percent of wrong-site orthopedic surgeries have led to malpractice recoveries.