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Newborn becomes victim of never-event, surgical error

| Feb 11, 2016 | Surgical Errors

Since this is a legal blog that covers medical malpractice, we and our readers have likely heard of wrong-site surgeries. But can you believe that there are incidents that go even further than that level of carelessness? 

A recent medical error occurred out of state but warrants discussion everywhere due to the extreme nature of the doctor’s error. CNN reports that a doctor performed surgery on the wrong person. Adding a level of trauma to this surgical error case is that the victim of the wrong-patient surgery was a newborn baby. 

The parents of the healthy newborn believed that their son was undergoing routine screenings post-delivery. But when their baby was returned to them, they learned that he underwent a surgery called a frenulectomy. It is a procedure used when a baby’s tongue formation could make feeding and speech a struggle.

This little baby, however, didn’t need that surgery. Now that he has had it, who knows what challenges he might needlessly face? Perhaps feeding and speech will be harder for him now versus before he had the unnecessary surgery. Due to the doctor’s admitted mistake, the baby is healing from needless surgery and his parents are living with the emotional stress that the event has caused them. 

Sure, the time following the birth of a child comes with stress. Still, there is a level of joy and peace that comes once a healthy child is brought into the world. An event like this should not happen. It could have been prevented. Parents who are in similar situations as the parents in this case should not hesitate to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the medical provider that put their loved one at risk.

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