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Surgery on wrong leg results in additional corrective surgeries

Colorado residents facing the possibility of surgery may be interested to hear of a Florida surgery that had unexpected results. According to a report by Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration, a patient who had undergone surgery on July 3 awoke from the procedure at a Daytona Beach hospital to find that her surgeon had operated on the wrong leg.

Instead of admitting his error, he told the woman that her other leg needed to be done anyway and asked her to sign a form giving him consent after the fact. During a subsequent investigation by the AHCA, the surgeon stated that he didn't admit error to the patient or her daughter. He said that his only thought was attempting to justify what he'd done. The patient has to undergo eight or nine more surgeries as a result of the mishap.

The investigation revealed that the error occurred through a series of mistakes by the surgeon, the operating room personnel and the surgical staff that scheduled her procedure. The error occurred despite the fact that the surgeon had talked with his patient the night before and marked her correct leg with a pen. A surgical nurse supervisor also mistakenly allowed surgery to be performed on the wrong leg the next morning. The investigation uncovered numerous other adverse hospital procedures, such as a cleaning person who cleaned an operating room table with the same water that she'd just used to mop the floor.

Surgical errors can result in serious life-long injury or death. Persons who feel that they may have been the subject of a surgical error may benefit from a consultation with an attorney who has experience with medical malpractice. An attorney may be able to thoroughly outline the exact nature of the errors involved and seek monetary compensation from the persons who were responsible for causing the injury.

Source: Med City News, "Wrong-site surgery leads to more surgeries for patient and more problems for Florida hospital", Marni Jameson, August 16, 2013

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