On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Surgical Errors on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.

Any body part that has a double, such as an arm or a leg, has the potential to be operated on in error. Such surgical errors can inflict unnecessary harm on otherwise healthy body parts, and require further surgery for Texas patients in order to correct the initial problem. Perhaps even more devastating, though, is the complete removal of the incorrect body part.

While undergoing surgery to have one of his kidneys removed, a 59-year-old man was in the hands of a surgeon who allegedly decided to operate based on what he could recall without double checking the patient’s medical records. In doing so, he removed the incorrect, otherwise healthy kidney from the patient. Not only did the patient then have to have a second surgery to remove his other kidney, but his potential for renal failure was drastically increased.

According to that state’s medical board, the attending surgeon deviated from what the proper standards of care should have been for this kind of surgery. This apparently included the fact that, during the surgery, the records indicating which kidney was cancerous were not at the facility, but instead left in an office. The medical board further placed the doctor on probation.

Although a study from 2006 asserted that surgeries on the wrong body part only occur on a once every five to 10 year basis, this is at least the second lawsuit concerning surgery on the wrong body part in 2014. Texas patients who have suffered similar devastating surgical errors likely understand that the emotional and physical toll can last a lifetime. Fair compensation should reflect the both the current and long-term medical costs and emotional burden, which can be sought through the successful litigation of a medical malpractice claim.

Source: upi.com, “Surgeon on probation for removing wrong kidney”, Ben Hooper, Dec. 3, 2014