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Doctor who performed wrong-site surgery faces discipline


When a patient goes to a doctor for treatment in Boston, they're placing their lives in the doctor's hands. In the event that surgery is recommended, one of the last things they think is going to happen is for the surgeon to make an egregious error such as wrong-site surgery. It is a surgeon mistake that can lead to the patient requiring more surgery, cause long-term injury and even death. Surgical errors must be reported and pursued not just for the victim, but to prevent it from happening again.

A doctor is facing disciplinary action because of a mistake he made while performing surgery on the leg of a 65-year-old woman. She required a bypass for a blocked artery in her left leg. When the doctor performed the procedure, however, he operated on her right leg by mistake. While he was operating, he learned that it was the other leg that required the bypass. He completed the procedure on the right leg, then did the procedure on the left leg. In addition, he received permission from the patient after the fact telling her that he discovered that she needed the operation on both legs. The doctor claims to have retired, but he still maintains privileges at the hospital in question.

Any kind of surgery -- even the most common -- carry risks. Those risks are made worse when a careless surgeon doesn't pay attention to what the person is doing and operates on the wrong area of the body or does the wrong procedure entirely. People who are victims of wrong-site surgery have their lives and ability to function placed in jeopardy in a needless fashion. One mistake can lead to many others. These mistakes are made worse when the doctor and medical staff take steps to try and cover it up, hiding it from the patient. Patients have a right to know when a mistake has been made.

In this instance, the woman not only had the wrong leg operated on before the correct one, she was allegedly tricked by the doctor after the fact to sign a consent form for it post-surgery. When this happens, it is possible that severe injuries can result. Those who have been victims of this type of error have rights and should consider filing a lawsuit.

Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, "Health department recommends Daytona wrong-leg surgeon be disciplined," Skyler Swisher, May 29, 2014

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