Surgery Mistakes That’ll Make You Cringe

It probably doesn’t surprise you that mistakes during surgical procedures occur. But some errors will leave you scratching your head or wondering if you dreamed the whole thing up.

In one case, a minor underwent surgery for a transplant and received the wrong organ. As cringe-worthy as that is, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other mistakes in operating rooms have taken place–and they will likely continue to happen.

Continue reading to look at some of the worst surgical error cases.

Surgical Errors So Bad You Won’t Believe They’re True

Elderly Women Gets Heart Surgery She Didn’t Need

In one case, an 83-year-old woman in South Africa underwent heart surgery she never needed. The heart surgery was intended for a different patient at the Mediclinic Kimberley Hospital in the country’s capital. Rita du Plessis was at the hospital for respiratory infection treatment. Why the mix-up? Both patients, one requiring heart surgery and the other requiring treatment for a respiratory infection, had the same doctor.

The doctor informed a surgeon to take the heart surgery patient to the operating room. But the surgeon took the wrong patient. After the surgery was completed on du Plessis, hospital staff informed her family that the heart surgery was a success. It was eventually realized that the wrong person received the heart surgery.

Unnecessary Brain Surgery Performed on Elderly Women

How does someone go to a hospital with a displaced jaw and find themselves booked for brain surgery? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Bimla Nayyar, an 81-year-old woman. In January of 2012, she was admitted to Michigan’s Oakwood Hospital.

The problem is that the hospital staff made the mistake of thinking another patient’s CT scan results–which showed signs of bleeding in the brain–were for Nayyar. So, the elderly lady received brain surgery she didn’t require. She tragically slipped into unconsciousness and passed away about two months later. Her family, after filing a lawsuit, was awarded $21 million.

Woman Gets Unnecessary Mastectomy

Aduvigis Rodriguez, a 49-year-old woman, had a mastectomy in April 2015. The operation came after she was informed she had a cancerous lump inside her left breast. But after the surgery was performed, medics conducted post-surgery tests and found the patient did not have cancer in the first place. The supposedly cancerous lump was sclerosing adenosis, a harmless growth resulting from excess breast tissue.

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital had made the wrong diagnosis following a biopsy, while Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan did the surgery. The second medical facility was supposed to conduct follow-up tests to ensure the biopsy findings at the first hospital were accurate.

A doctor at the second facility signed a form indicating that everything was good to go even though there had been no follow-up test. Rodriguez had reconstructive breast surgery after the surgical mistake. She suffered medical issues, such as a pulmonary embolism, due to the mastectomy.

Those are just some of the bizarre mistakes that have taken place during surgery. The unfortunate thing is that these mistakes should have never happened because hospitals have different processes to ensure such mistakes don’t occur. But horrible things can happen when people don’t respect the process or show a proper standard of care.

Suppose you or anyone else you know is ever harmed because of a surgical error. In that case, you need to find a reputable medical malpractice lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

The worst thing you can do is try to handle matters independently. A lawyer specializing in such issues will know the applicable law, advise you on your best course of action, and represent you in court or help reach a suitable settlement.

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