Some surgical errors that happen in New York are so egregious, they should never occur. These errors are known as never events because they are completely preventable when proper protocols are followed by hospitals and medical staff. According to a recent Johns Hopkins malpractice study, surgical never events may occur more than 4,000 times each year around the nation. Researchers found that among these never events, wrong body site surgery occurs at least 20 times each week.
In 2015, a Connecticut woman underwent surgery to remove a rib that contained what doctors suspected was a cancerous lesion, which caused her significant pain. Instead of removing the affected rib, the patient alleges that a surgical trainee, whom she had not authorized to perform the procedure, removed a large portion of the wrong rib. The doctor and team made the error despite the proper metal coils, marker dye and markings that radiologists used to prepare the correct surgical site to indicate where the lesion was located.
The woman also alleges that doctors realized that the wrong rib was removed when she woke to find herself still in pain. They then lied to her and told her she needed an additional surgery because not enough of the damaged rib had been removed. She returned to the operating room the same day, where doctors removed the correct rib. The hospital released a statement admitting to the error, but the patient’s attorney indicated that the hospital has not yet taken responsibility for what occurred. She is now suing the hospital for the deception.
Surgical errors can be devastating to every aspect of a patient’s life. Those who are dealing with the aftermath of these medical mistakes may find it helpful to speak with an attorney regarding their rights and responsibilities in these cases.
Source: PIX 11, “Woman sues Yale doctors after wrong body part removed,” Mar. 23, 2016.