10 Unbelievable Medical Mistakes…
The Fertility Clinic that used the wrong sperm:
When Nancy Andrews, of Commack, N.Y., became pregnant
after an in vitro fertilization procedure at a New York
fertility clinic, she and her husband expected a beautiful
new addition to their family. What they did not expect
was a child whose skin was significantly darker than that
of either parent Subsequent DNA tests suggested that
doctors at New York Medical Services for Reproductive Medicine
accidentally used another man’s sperm to inseminate
Nancy Andrews’ eggs.
The couple has since raised Baby Jessica, who was born
Oct. 19, 2004, as their own, according to wire reports.
But the couple still filed a malpractice suit against
the owner of the clinic, as well as the embryologist
who allegedly mixed up the samples.
Received the wrong heart and lungs, then died:
17-year-old Jesica Santillian died 2 weeks after
receiving the heart and lungs of a patient whose blood type
did not match hers. Doctors at the Duke University Medical Center
failed to check the compatibility before surgery began.
After a rare second transplant operation to attempt
to rectify the error, she suffered brain damage
and complications that subsequently hastened her death.
Santillian a Mexican immigrant, had come to the United States
three years before to seek medical treatment for a
life-threatening heart condition.
The heart-lung transplant that surgeons at Duke University Hospital
in Durham, N.C., hoped would improve this condition
instead put her in greater danger; Santillian,who had
type-O blood, had received the organs from a type-A donor.
The error sent the patient into a coma like state, and she died shortly
after an attempt to switch the organs back out for compatible ones
failed. The hospital blamed human error for the death,
along with a lack of safeguards to ensure a compatible transplant .
According to reports, Duke reached an agreement on an
undisclosed settlement with the family. Neither the hospital
nor the family is allowed to comment on the case.
A $200,000 testicle:
In yet another case of a wrongful operation, surgeons mistakenly
removed the healthy right testicle of 47-year-old Air Force
veteran Benjamin Houghton.
The patient had been complaining of pain and shrinkage of his
left testicle so doctors decided to schedule surgery
to remove it due to cancer fears. However, the veteran’s medical
records suggest a series of missteps — from an error on the
consent form to a failure on the part of medical personnel to
mark the proper surgical site before the procedure.
The error, which took place at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center,
spurred a $200,000 lawsuit from Houghton and his wife.
A 13-Inch souvenir:
Donald Church, 49, had a tumor in his abdomen when he arrived
at the University of Washington Medical Center in
Seattle in June 2000. When he left, the tumor was gone — but
a metal retractor had taken its place. Doctors admitted to leaving
the 13-inch-long retractor in Church’s abdomen by mistake.
It was not the first such incident at the medical center;
four other such occurrences had been documented at the hospital
between 1997 and 2000. Fortunately, surgeons were able to remove
the retractor shortly after it was discovered, and
Church experienced no long-term health consequences from the mistake.
The hospital agreed to pay Church $97,000.
An open heart invasive procedure.
on the wrong patient
Joan Morris (a pseudonym) is a 67-year-old woman admitted to
a teaching hospital for cerebral angiography. The day after
that procedure, she mistakenly underwent an invasive cardiac
electro physiology study. After angiography, the patient was
transferred to another floor rather than returning to her
original bed. Discharge was planned for the following day.
The next morning, however,the patient was taken for a
open heart procedure. The patient had been on the operating
table for an hour. Doctors had made an incision in her groin,
punctured an artery, threaded in a tube and snaked it up
into her heart (a procedure with risks of bleeding, infection,
heart attack and stroke). That was when the phone rang
and a doctor from another department asked what are you doing with
my patient? There was nothing wrong with her heart.
The cardiologist working on the woman checked her chart, and
saw that he was making an awful mistake. The study was aborted,
and she was returned to her room in stable condition.
Hospital makes a wrong-sided brain surgery…
for the third time in a year
For the 3 time on the same year, doctors at Rhode Island Hospital
have operated on the wrong side 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
Rhospital 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 leg:
In 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
The healthy kidney removed by mistake:
In St. Louis Park, Minnesota, 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
Wide-Awake Surgery led to his suicide
A 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 general anesthetic 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: