The Law Offices of Charles Dunn
Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Surgeon removes kidney during back surgery without consent

Surgical mistakes that result in what the medical community calls "never events" involve operating on the wrong body part and even removing the wrong body part. People in Texas planning surgeries should know that these incidents happen in about 1 out of 112,000 surgeries according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The case of a woman who lost a kidney during a back operation illustrates how mistakes arise from poor surgical preparation and lack of consent.

The woman had a pelvic kidney, which describes a kidney that did not shift into the expected abdominal area prior to birth. These kidneys function properly, and the position of the patient's kidney had appeared on two MRI scans before her surgery. The legal complaint on behalf of the woman stated that the surgeon did not review the MRI before the surgery. His task during the operation required him to open her body to expose lower back bones that were the purpose of the operation so that an orthopedist could perform the back surgery.

Before the orthopedist began work, the first surgeon decided that the pelvic kidney was a tumor, and he cut it out without the woman's consent. The mistake prompted the health department to file an administrative complaint against him, and the woman filed a malpractice lawsuit. The surgeon who removed the kidney reportedly denied responsibility and blamed the hospital for not informing him about the MRI.

Medical malpractice cases depend on showing negligence based on a healthcare professional's failure to meet accepted standards of care. A person injured by surgical errors may want to seek the opinion of an attorney to learn if damages might be recoverable. An attorney may be able to obtain independent medical testimony, negotiate with an insurer or present a case in court to pursue compensation for the victim.

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