The Grapevine

Medical Malpractice Suit: Doctor Removes Wrong Rib During Surgery, Lies To Cover Up Mistake

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A doctor at Yale Hospital is facing trouble for an alleged medical mix-up. Pixabay Public Domain

While many would try and lie to cover up a mistake, unfortunately for doctors, mistakes affect both lives and livelihood. A doctor at Yale Hospital in Connecticut is learning this lesson the hard way after being sued by a patient for not only removing the wrong rib from her body, but also allegedly trying to convince her that no mistake had been made.

Deborah Craven, 60, from Milford, Ct. was scheduled to have her eighth rib removed last May due to a lesion, The NY Daily Mail reported. However, after the operation, Craven reportedly still experienced pain in the area, and an x-ray exam soon revealed why. According to the scan, not only had doctors removed the wrong rib, but the metal coils used in the operation had also been left inside of her.

Craven’s suit explained that Dr. Anthony Kim, who did not partake in the surgery, informed her of the mistake and booked her in for a follow-up surgery the next day. However, before this could happen, the doctor who operated, Dr. Ricardo Quarrie, a resident at the hospital, told Craven that her surgery was not due to the wrong rib being removed but that not enough of the rib had been removed.

Craven believes that Quarrie lied “to cover up the removal of the wrong body part” in an effort to prevent her from accusing him of unfair trade practices. According to Craven’s lawyer, Joel Faxon, she would have never even initiated the lawsuit had it not been for Quarrie’s attempt to cover up his mistake.

“As the old adage goes the cover up is worse than the crime,” said Faxon.

Yale-New Haven Hospital acknowledged that an error had been made and announced their plans to “immediately report it to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.”

Unfortunately, mistakes are bound to happen in the world of surgery. As far as medical blunders go, this one does not seem to have any far-reaching repercussions, unlike that of Regina Turner, a woman whose operation on the wrong side of her brain left her with speech and movement difficulties, Fox News reported. Turner, 53, of Ann, Mo., was due to have surgery on the left side of her brain to address a series of mini-strokes she had suffered over several years. Unfortunately, the doctors operated on the left side of the brain.

"I think everybody in the operating room screwed up. I think somehow her head was marked for the correct side," Alvin Wolff Jr., Turner’s attorney told Fox. "The incorrect side was prepped for surgery. A whole surgery was performed, and nobody noticed that the side was wrong."

Wolf explained that sometimes X-rays can be flipped or doctors may become overwhelmed due to too many surgeries booked in a short period of time. As a result of the botched operation, Turner lost the ability to walk and speak properly. Wolf told the media that there have been 35 other cases of doctors operating on the wrong side of the brain documented in the U.S. to date.

 

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