A medical center in California was issued a $75,000 fine by the state’s Department of Health after an unnecessary incision was made during a surgery that occurred in December 2011. According to reports, a 33-year-old man was supposed to have his left testicle removed due to the discovery of a lesion. When surgeons began the procedure, however, they made the initial incision on the wrong testicle. Fortunately, someone within the surgical unit noticed the mistake, and the incision was closed. Still, the governmental agency determined the man had suffered unnecessary pain due to the mistake and assessed the fine.
The rest of the surgery went as planned, but the fine may have been assessed because the surgical team had not taken the time during the pre-operation procedure to ensure the surgical site was correct. After the incident was investigated, the medical center implemented higher surgical standards to help prevent such a mistake from happening again. The site should now be confirmed both during the pre-operative phase, as well as just before surgery begins in the operating room. A statement from the medical center indicated the facility was apologetic and believed certain precautionary steps were skipped by the surgical team. Despite proper procedures, medical errors still happen.
This incident could have been much more traumatic for the patient. Had the mistake not been noticed, the surgical unit could have removed the wrong testicle. It is likely the other would still have had to be removed if this major surgical error occurred.
Such incidents can happen anywhere in the country. If you have been injured by a surgical error and want to better understand your options, speak to a qualified Chicago personal injury lawyer about your situation.
Source: ABC 10 News, “Sharp Healthcare fined by state over error during man’s testicle surgery” No author given, Aug. 15, 2013