Hospital makes a wrong-sided brain surgery... for the third time in a yearFor the third time on the same year, doctors at Rhode Island Hospital have operated on of a patient's head. The most recent incident occurred Nov. 23 2007. An 82-year-old woman required an operation to stop bleeding between her brain and her skull. A neurosurgeon at the hospital began a surgery by drilling the right side of the patient's head, even though a CT scan showed bleeding on the left side, according to local reports. The resident reportedly caught his mistake early, after which he closed the initial hole and proceeded on the left side of the patient's head. The patient was listed in fair condition on Sunday.
The case echoes of a similar mistake last February, in which a different doctor operated on the wrong side of a patient's head. And last August, an 86-year-old man died three weeks after a surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital accidentally operated on the wrong side of his head.
The Surgeon who removed the wrong legIn what was, perhaps, the most publicized case of a surgical mistake in its time, a Tampa (Florida) surgeon mistakenly removed the wrong leg of his patient, 52-year-old Willie King, during an amputation procedure in February 1995.
It was later revealed that a chain of errors before the surgery culminated in the wrong leg being prepped for the procedure. While the surgeon's team realized in the middle of the procedure that they were operating on the wrong leg, it was already too late, and the leg was removed. As a result of the error, the surgeon's medical license was suspended for six months and he was fined $10,000. University Community Hospital in Tampa, the medical center where the surgery took place, paid $900,000 to King and the surgeon involved in the case paid an additional $250,000 to King.
The healthy kidney removed by mistakeIn St. Louis Park, , a patient was submitted at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital to have one of his kidneys removed because it had a tumor believed to be cancerous. Instead, doctors removed the healthy one.
"The discovery that this was the wrong kidney was made the next day when the pathologist examined the material and found no evidence of any malignancy," said Samuel Carlson, M.D. and Park Nicollet Chief Medical Officer. The potentially cancerous kidney remained intact and functioning. For privacy and family's request, no details about the patient were released.
Wide-Awake Surgery led to his suicideA West Virginia man's family claims inadequate anesthetic during surgery allowed him to feel every slice of the surgeon's scalpel - a trauma they believe led him to take his own life two weeks later. Sherman Sizemore was admitted to Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, W.Va., Jan. 19, 2006 for exploratory surgery to determine the cause of his abdominal pain. But during the operation, he reportedly experienced a phenomenon known as anesthetic awareness -- a state in which a surgical patient is able to feel pain, pressure or discomfort during an operation, but is unable to move or communicate with doctors.
According to the complaint, anesthesiologists administered the drugs to numb the patient, but they failed to give him the that would render him unconscious until 16 minutes after surgeons first cut into his abdomen. Family members say the 73-year-old Baptist minister was driven to kill himself by the traumatic experience of being awake during surgery but unable to move or cry out in pain.
Not so funny: wrong artery bypassed
Two months after a double bypass heart operation that was supposed to save his life, comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member Dana Carvey got some disheartening news: the cardiac surgeon had bypassed the wrong artery. It took another emergency operation to clear the blockage that was threatening to kill the 45-year-old funnyman and father of two young kids. Responding to a $7.5 million lawsuit Carvey brought against him, the surgeon said he'd made an honest mistake because Carvey's artery was unusually situated in his heart. But Carvey didn't see it that way: "It's like removing the wrong kidney. It's that big a mistake," the entertainer told People magazine.