Woman needs more surgery after surgery on wrong leg


A patient recently woke from surgery only to discover her surgeon had operated on the wrong leg. He also operated on the correct leg. However, he didn’t explain he only did so after a nurse anesthesiologist caught the error when the wrong-site surgery was underway. Most hospitals across the country, including those in New York, have procedures in place to prevent the problem of wrong-site surgery. Nevertheless, this surgical error occurred despite those safeguards.

In this case, after operating, the cardiovascular surgeon told the patient that the other leg needed to be done anyway because of her history. He asked her to sign a consent form without telling her it had been a wrong-site surgery. Although the hospital administrator knew about the error the next day, the hospital did not report it to the health care administration agency in the state where the surgery took place for 15 days. In an interview with the agency, the surgeon said he hadn’t told the patient operating on her other leg was a surgical mistake because he was thinking about himself and “justifying what was done.”

In the meantime, the patient developed infections in the incision sites for the vascular graft surgery on both legs. That has necessitated another eight or nine surgeries under anesthesia. Moreover, she won’t be able to return home as planned and must enter a nursing home.

Surgeons are highly trained, but human errors still occur. Someone who has problems because of a surgical error might find it helpful to talk to a medical malpractice attorney. They are able to answer any questions someone has about wrong-site surgery or other errors. In addition, they might be able to help obtain compensation for medical care as well as for pain and suffering.

Source: Med City News, “Wrong-site surgery leads to more surgeries for patient and more problems for Florida hospital “, Jameson, Marni, August 16, 2013

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