Wrong Site Surgery Lawsuit Filed Against Hospital That Removed The Wrong Rib

According to allegations raised in a recently filed medical malpractice lawsuit, doctors performed a wrong site surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital, when a surgeon-in-training was allowed to conduct the procedure and removed the incorrect rib. 

The complaint was filed by 60 year old Deborah Craven against the hospital, as well as Yale Medical Group in Connecticut, Yale University and two physicians.

Craven indicates that she went into the hospital on May 18, 2015, due to a possibly cancerous lesion on her eighth rib that was causing intense pain. The rib was marked by radiologists with metallic coils and a marking dye meant to avoid confusion.

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Despite the precautions, a surgeon-in-training removed her seventh rib, leaving the rib with the lesion in place, according to the lawsuit. The surgical mistake was not discovered until that night, when Craven continued to experience pain and an x-ray was performed.

The x-ray determined that the wrong rib had been removed and even found the metal markers still in place. She had to undergo another procedure immediately to remove the proper rib, but was not immediately told about the mistake.

The lawsuit suggested that the surgeon-in-training attempted to cover up the mistake by claiming that the correct rib had been worked on and that not enough of the rib had been removed.

The hospital says it has acknowledged the surgical mistake, apologized to Craven and informed the Connecticut Department of Public Health about the incident.

Wrong site surgery is generally considered a “never event,” or a mistake that is inexcusable and should never occur.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says wrong site surgery is caused by “poor preoperative planning, lack of institutional controls, failure of the surgeon to exercise due care, or a simple mistake in communication between the patient and the surgeon.” The academy notes that 84% of wrong site surgery lawsuits result in payments to plaintiffs, as opposed to 30% of other orthopedic surgery claims.



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