Incredible stories of botched surgeries and doctor leaving sponges in patients have permeated our culture to the point that they are almost urban legend. However, just when we think we have heard it all, something so unimaginable occurs that it makes New Yorkers reevaluate the trust they place in doctors and hospitals.
One such unimaginable event recently took place during a kidney transplant operation in Toledo - an event described as "baffling" by the surgeon hired by the medical center to evaluate its transplant program.
According to reports, during a kidney transplant surgery in August, and experienced nurse flushed a viable kidney down a disposal hopper - meaning a perfectly good kidney was not available for a needy recipient.
Because of this occurrence, the medical center hired a doctor to review its kidney transplant program. And while this review found nothing wrong with the culture at the hospital on the whole, it did note that the nurse failed to follow standard operating procedure.
The review also stated that the nurse missed several indicators that should have alerted her that the kidney transplant was not completed and that it was "baffling" that others involved in the transplant failed to notice the nurse take apart the machine that kept the kidney chilled until transplanted.
Tragically, this is just one example of the types of medical mistakes that occur every day.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Disposal of kidney of Ohio hospital 'baffling'," AP, September 27, 2012
Our firm often handles situations in which mistakes during surgery cause injury to patients. If you would like to learn more about our experience in medical malpractice law, please visit our Queens Surgical Errors page.