Massachusetts patients who are expecting to have surgery may want to pay special attention to a case involving surgical error in Ohio. A 24-year-old woman was under anesthesia, prepared to receive a perfect-match kidney donated by her 20-year-old brother when a nurse who worked for the hospital threw away the organ.
According to the hospital, they are sorry that the incident occurred but are not admitting that they were medically negligent. The nurse who discarded the viable kidney resigned a month after the incident and the nurse who relieved her during her break was fired by the hospital. The surgeon was still employed at the hospital on the date that the hospital’s answer to the lawsuit was filed.
The siblings, their parents and their four other siblings sued the hospital and are asking for $25,000 each in damages. The woman received a donor kidney from a non-relative and is recovering from the procedure. According to the family attorney, though, risk of rejection is significantly higher with a stranger’s kidney that with one from a biological sibling. She also had to go through several months of additional procedures and uncertainty as to whether she would live. The hospital, which is defended by the state Attorney General, is challenging the family’s claim for damages.
When a patient is harmed by an action or inaction taken by medical personnel, they have the option of using the legal system to seek compensation for their injuries. A lawyer may be able to help a patient or the family of a patient who was a victim of surgical errors hold the doctors and the facility responsible for their actions in civil court. By presenting medical evidence showing that the hospital provided substandard care, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement or convince a jury to award a judgement on behalf of the patient.
Source: ABC News, “Toledo Hospital Threw Out Donor Kidney, Now Denies Negligence“, Susan Donaldson, August 29, 2013