As an area with many prestigious hospitals, Boston residents may be interested to hear about an incident that occurred at a prestigious hospital in another state. A surgeon for Mount Sinai Hospital recently operated on a 76-year-old man who had been on dialysis due to the fact that both of his kidneys were diseased, he was due to have one of them removed. During the operation, the surgeon removed the incorrect kidney.
The surgical error was corrected in a subsequent surgery where doctors removed the correct kidney. Hospital administrators report that the man is doing well following the incident. He also appears to be in good spirits, stating that he still has faith in the surgeon and has forgiven him for the mistake. The patient previously overcame bladder cancer with the help of the same doctor.
The hospital has suspended the doctor while they investigate the incident, relieving him from both clinical duties and administrative responsibilities. It was not stated whether he will be paid during the time that he is suspended.
It seems as if this case has ended well, but many patients are not so lucky. A patient who is injured by a doctor who removes the wrong organ may be able to recover damages for the cost of performing the correct procedure, in addition to the pain and suffering associated with the permanent loss of a functioning organ. In some cases, the hospital may also be liable for injuries caused by a doctor within the scope of his employment. A local personal injury attorney may be able to assist in negotiating a settlement.
Source: CBSNewYork.com, “Wrong Kidney Removed From Patient At Mount Sinai Medical Center“, May 10, 2013