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Knowing right from left doesn’t come easy to all, even doctors

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2016 | Doctor Errors

All of us certainly have not gone to and graduated from medical school. We like to believe that our medical providers who have accomplished such an achievement are some of the smartest people we know. 

While many of our doctors and nurses are profoundly intelligent and skilled, it might come as a threatening surprise that even some men and women who enter medical school have difficulty with a skill we teach our children: knowing what direction is left and what is right.

While Dr. Gerard Gormley works and teaches outside of the U.S., his academic observations of “right-left confusion” serve as a safety warning to all. He claims that he sees a significant number of medical students who fail to readily know their left from right. Can you imagine what kind of medical problems could result from a doctor confusing basic directional skills?

Doctor errors come in many forms. One of the most serious and news-worthy types of those medical mistakes is wrong-sided surgery. That is when, for example, a surgeon performs an operation on a victim’s right side of the brain when he should have performed on the left.

These events are rare but have still happened and could happen again — especially if safety measures are not in place to ensure that medical providers verify they are working on the proper side of a patient. Doctors must comply with safety checklists in the process of certain medical procedures. A surgical error such as operating on the wrong side of a patient is often the result of one’s failure to follow such a checklist and other safety standards.

If you have become the victim of such a shocking, life-changing failure, reach out to a medical malpractice attorney who can help bring closure to a catastrophic event in your life.