When a patient enters a hospital or doctor’s office in New York for a surgery, they are often filled with anxiety and tension about the upcoming procedure. Patients often rely on doctors and nurses to reassure them that the procedures will go as planned and no problems will arise. Once that trust has been broken by medical or surgical errors, it may be difficult for a patient to trust in health care professionals in the future. The patients may also deal with increased pain and anxiety regarding the surgical error and the hospital may face fines from the state.
A San Diego man entered an operating room in December of 2011 to have a testicle removed due to a lesion on the left side. When the surgeon cut into the right testicle rather than the left, he was notified by surrounding professionals of his mistake, sewed the right testicle up and moved on to the correct one.
The state Department of Public Health fined the hospital because it was determined that the man dealt with an increased amount of pain because of the mistake. The board also felt that the correct procedures were not in place to require the operating room team to step back and assess the situation before moving on.
Although the man recovered and there was no lasting damage, surgical errors are considered never events, meaning they should never happen. A patient should be able to rely on the doctor to take their time and make sure they are doing the right surgery before the process starts.
Source: ABC, “Sharp Healthcare fined by state over error during man’s testicle surgery,” August 15, 2013