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Zelbst, Holmes & Butler Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers

Surgeon mistakenly removes kidney during back surgery

Medical malpractice is a common cause of injury and even death in Oklahoma. Most people trust that doctors will do their best. However, mistakes sometimes occur. One woman went to the hospital to receive spinal fusion surgery on her back and later found out that a surgeon removed one of her kidneys.

The surgeon discovered what he believed to be a malignant tumor in the woman's pelvic region and removed it. The woman never had a chance to consent to the procedure. The surgeon who removed the kidney was assisting another surgeon and was tasked with creating an incision for the back surgery.

The Florida Department of Health filed an administrative complaint against the surgeon who could lose his medical license as a result of the mistake. The woman also filed a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice.

Wrong-site operations are deemed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to be events that should never occur. The agency estimates that they occur approximately once in every 112,000 surgical procedures.

Two of the primary surgeons involved in the operation settled a lawsuit filed on the woman's behalf for $250,000 each. The surgeon who removed the kidney settled the lawsuit filed against him for an undisclosed amount.

Patients who believe they have suffered as a result of a medical provider's mistake may benefit from consulting an attorney experienced in handling medical professional negligence cases. Medical malpractice cases may be quite complex and require an extensive study of a patient's medical records and testimony from expert witnesses.

Doctors are often reluctant to admit that they made a mistake due to the effect that this can have on their reputation, medical license and insurance costs. An attorney may be able to help victims of medical malpractice prove what went wrong in order to show why the doctor should be held liable for the mistake.

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