Illinois residents may be aware that statistics indicate that one of the most common surgical errors is the removal of the wrong body part. It would only be logical to ask how that can happen. However, a civil lawsuit that was recently filed in another state explains how error upon error, along with alleged surgical negligence, led to the removal of a patient’s healthy left kidney instead of a softball-sized tumor that was attached to his right kidney.
The lawsuit refers to the non-emergency surgical procedure that was ordered for an 83-year-old patient to remove only a life-threatening cancerous tumor from his healthy right kidney — leaving the healthy organ in place. However, despite adequate documentation provided to the surgical team, the surgeons allegedly removed the man’s healthy left kidney. These documents included three different diagnoses along with the first referral, faxed referral, clinical notes and medical charts, indicating the required surgery to the right kidney.
Court records show that one incorrect entry was made on a document in the time leading up to the surgery, and that resulted in more errors and the plaintiff’s claim that the defendants failed to study the available medical records and instructions. After removal, the pathology department examined the left kidney and noted it to be healthy. However, despite realizing the error, post-operative reports made by the defendants made no mention of it and even described how the patient’s intestines filled the void left by the removed tumor — which was allegedly never removed.
The complaint accuses the doctors of causing emotional and physical pain and robbing the plaintiff of life enjoyment by causing him permanent disability. Furthermore, it claims the hospital failed to enforce or adopt procedures and protocols to prevent the alleged malpractice from occurring. The outcome of this lawsuit is not yet known, but victims of alleged surgical negligence in Illinois can be assured that an experienced medical malpractice attorney can provide the support and guidance that can make navigation of such a lawsuit easier.
Source: eastidahonews.com, “Patient claims I.F. doctors mistakenly removed kidney instead of cancerous tumor“, Stephan Rockefeller, April 19, 2017