What could be New Jersey patients' worst nightmare became a reality for an out-of-state couple when hospital officials confused their newborn son with another baby. The days-old newborn underwent a minor surgical procedure without the knowledge or consent of his parents. Such levels of hospital negligence can be especially dangerous for patients.
In Dec. 2015, the mother gave birth to an otherwise healthy baby boy. Although he was ultimately delivered via Cesarean section, neither the mother nor the baby experienced any complications. The day after his birth, a nurse entered the mother's hospital room to retrieve the boy. The nurse did not disclose that she was taking him for a procedure, and the mother was under the impression that he was being taken for an examination in order to determine his weight and other vital information.
When the nurse returned with the baby, she informed the parents that the procedure had unfolded without incident. At that point, the parents were shocked to learn that their son had been mistaken for another baby and had undergone a frenulectomy, which involved a doctor removing tissue folds from underneath his tongue. Hospital staff confirmed the mistake with the parents, and told them that their son had only cried for a short while afterward. At that point, his parents reported that he was still bleeding from underneath his tongue.
Although hospital staff were quick to assure the parents that there should not be any long-lasting or permanent health issues associated with the unnecessary surgery, the act of performing a procedure on the wrong patient has serious implications. For New Jersey patients, proper safety precautions are an absolute necessity in order to prevent dangerous incidents such as this one. When hospital negligence threatens that safety and causes damage or injury, medical malpractice suits can be an especially helpful tool for victims. Successful compensation achieved through these types of claims can be applied to necessary damages, both physical and emotional.
Source: lighthousenewsdaily.com, "Wrong-Patient Surgery Reported at Tennessee Hospital", Lonnie Davidson, Feb. 13, 2016