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Hospital negligence blamed for wrong-site surgery

Patients in New Jersey who are about to go under the knife can typically expect for the correct body part to be marked and confirmed prior to heading to the operating table. This pre-surgery practice is an integral aspect of patient safety, as wrong-site surgeries can cause a multitude of problems on top of any prior medical issues. Even when this type of mistake causes serious injury and risk to a patient, institutions and doctors are not always quick to admit hospital negligence.

The 60-year-old woman was scheduled to have a painful lesion removed in May 2015. One of the attending surgeons was still in his residency, but this information was never disclosed to the patient. She went back for surgery after the rib with the possibly cancerous lesion was marked with special coils and a dye. However, upon waking up she was still experiencing an enormous amount of pain that should have been alleviated by the surgery. An x-ray uncovered the unsettling reason -- the marked rib was still there.

The resident surgeon apparently informed the woman that they had been unable to fully remove the rib and that she would immediately need to have another surgery. She claims that she was never informed that the correct rib had been completely missed despite it being clearly marked. After discovering the mistake and then the attempt to conceal it, she filed suit against both the medical center at Yale University where the surgery was performed as well as two of the attending doctors.

The operation on or removal of an otherwise healthy body part can be excruciating for patients. Victims in New Jersey typically must then undergo secondary procedures for the original problem and then focus on recovering from not one but two different surgeries, only one of which was necessary. Hospital negligence of this manner can impose not only physical injuries but also mental trauma that can make it difficult for victims to focus on recovery. Medical malpractice suits often prove to be one of the best courses of action, providing legal recourse and just compensation for long-lasting pain and suffering.

Source:, "Milford woman files suit against Yale surgeon-in-training after he removed the wrong body part", Katie Harris and Lorenzo Hall, March 17, 2016

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Alan D. Bell
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