Wrong-Site Surgical Mistakes Do Happen

Wrong-Site Surgical Mistakes Do HappenA California surgeon has been placed on probation for removing the wrong kidney from a federal inmate.

According to the Orange County Register, in 2012, a surgeon at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California carelessly removed a healthy kidney from a 59-year-old imprisoned male. The patient’s left kidney was imbedded with tumors and was supposed to be removed but the surgeon left the CT scans of the kidneys at his office and proceeded with the surgery nonetheless.

Should the California Medical Board Grant Probation? 

Most of us would think that this doctor should not be allowed to operate again. Even though the California Medical Board found that the surgeon “relied on memory to decide which kidney to remove,” they only gave him three years of probation, meaning he can still practice medicine as long as he:

  • Completes a wrong-site surgery course,
  • Notifies hospitals and medical facilities of his probation,
  • Ceases supervision of physician assistants, and
  • Makes quarterly reports to the Board.

If the surgeon violates these terms, he then could actually lose his license.

It was the surgeon’s “sole obligation” to review diagnostic images of the inmate’s kidneys prior to operating. How can a remove a body part based on “memory” instead of checking and then checking again? Do you think this surgeon be able to keep his medical license after such an egregious mistake?

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a wrong-site surgery, you should contact an experienced lawyer to discuss your options. Call one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878) for more information.

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