Health officials are investigating a complaint that a Massachusetts surgeon inadvertently removed a kidney from the wrong patient. The alleged error occurred at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, but the patient’s physician, who was not affiliated with the hospital, scheduled the surgery and is most likely at fault. Officials connected with St. Vincent Hospital gave the following statement:
“This is a deeply unfortunate situation involving a patient misidentification that took place outside of our hospital and did not involve our employees. Our staff followed proper protocols in preparing for and performing the surgery, which was scheduled by the patient’s physician at our hospital. We are saddened that this incident occurred and our leadership continues to assure the affected patient receives the support and care needed.”
Elizabeth Cohen, a CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, further details the story. Cohen cites a 2006 study to show that errors such as the one that occurred in Worcester are a rarity. According to the study, such an error occurs about 1 out of every 112,000 surgeries. Adding up the numbers, this means that an individual hospital would commit such an error every 5 to 10 years.
However, when a negligence occurs on the behalf of a medical professional, it is important to hold them accountable. The Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers at Rosen, Louik, and Perry have successfully handled many “wrong site” surgical misadventures. Although rare, these incidents occur several times a year in Pennsylvania. A legal professional skilled in medical malpractice can help a patient who believes they have suffered from such an occurrence. Surgical error attorneys can review the medical records and determine what went wrong. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact Rosen Louik & Perry for your free consultation.