Surgery patient harmed after Illinois hospital used wrong putty

Before a surgery is performed in any Chicago hospital room, patients might assume that doctors and nurses have carefully prepared for the operation by making sure that all necessary tools and medical devices are ready and sanitized. Patients also expect that hospitals have adequate procedures in place to prevent unnecessary surgical errors.

But when a part-owner of the Chicago White Sox underwent surgery at a hospital in Evanston in 2008, a nurse somehow made the mistake of using sample putty during the patient’s surgery instead of real surgical putty. As a result, the patient suffered life-threatening complications. Although the hospital recently admitted that the wrong putty was used during the patient’s procedure, the hospital still maintains that it was not at fault for the man’s complications after his surgery.

Two years after the serious surgical mistake was made, the patient filed a lawsuit against the hospital for its negligence. According to the patient’s lawsuit, he was admitted to a hospital in Evanston four years ago for back surgery. Surgeons were supposed to repair the patient’s collapsed spinal disk with a bone strengthening putty called Progenix DBM. However, a nurse did not use the correct putty for the man’s surgery. Instead, she had used a promotional sample that was made of cow tissue.

The product was not safe for human use, and after noticing the mistake, doctors had to give the man antibiotics by inserting a catheter into the patient’s heart. Fortunately, doctors noticed the mistake in time to prevent the man from suffering fatal complications. However, the mistake should have never happened because staff should have made sure that they had the correct putty in the operating room before performing the back surgery.

The patient is seeking compensation for his pain and suffering. The hospital has yet to take responsibility for its mistake.

Source: Glencoe News, “White Sox part-owner sues Evanston Hospital over operation,” Sept. 25, 2012

Surgical Errors


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