Last year, a patient underwent surgery to have a knee injury repaired. The man had a torn medial meniscus in his left knee, and shortly before the surgery was performed, the man’s doctor confirmed that he would be operating on the patient’s left knee. But by the time the patient came out of surgery, both knees had been operated on. The patient learned after his operation that his doctor had made a major surgical error by operating on his right knee instead of his left knee.
Surgery can be a scary experience for Chicago patients. Patients may be worried about anesthesia-related injuries or other common complications that may arise during surgical procedures. But patients also understand that there are many types of complications and injuries they should never have to worry about, including having the wrong side of the body operated on by a doctor.
As a result of the doctor’s mistake, the patient had to endure painful operations on both knees instead of one knee. The patient was even billed for both knee surgeries even though he was only supposed to have surgery on his left knee.
Although mistakes do happen, the facility where the patient’s operation had been performed at had taken numerous steps to prevent the doctor from performing surgery on the wrong knee. Yet, the doctor still made the mistake. According to the lawsuit, the man’s left knee was shaved and “yes” was written on his knee to indicate that his left knee was to be operated on. Somehow, though, the doctor still operated on the patient’s right knee.
Surgical procedures may be complicated, but it isn’t difficult for doctors to avoid making surgical errors. Some types of errors that should never happen include operating on the wrong side of the body, operating on the wrong body part and operating on the wrong patient. When these types of mistakes are made as a result of a doctor’s negligence, patients have every right to seek compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering.
Source: NewsWest 9, “Basin surgeon accused of operating on the wrong part of a patient’s body,” Jen Kastner, Feb. 4, 2013