Surgeon removes woman’s kidney by mistake

New Jersey residents who are considering orthopedic surgery may be alarmed to learn about the case of a Florida woman who underwent such a procedure in 2016. The woman was scheduled to have some bones in her lower back fused to relieve pain caused by a serious car accident, but she later found that one of her kidneys had been removed during the operation. Records reveal that the surgeon who made the mistake was only supposed to expose the site of the surgery and was not tasked with performing the procedure.

The doctor who made the mistake says that he mistook the woman’s pelvic kidney for a cancerous tumor. Pelvic kidneys, which generally function properly, are kidneys that do not rise from the pelvis to their usual position in the womb. The doctor also blames the medical facility involved for not informing him that the woman had such a kidney. Medical records reveal that the doctor is the chairman of surgery at a major Palm Beach County hospital and has privileges at several others.

A claim filed with the Florida Department of Health in December 2017 claims that the kidney’s removal was medically unnecessary because the woman was not being treated for cancer and no diagnoses of the disease had been made in her case. The surgeon faces penalties ranging from a fine to the loss of his medical license, according to reports.

Doctors sometimes blame others when their mistakes cause patients to suffer injuries. Attorneys with experience in medical malpractice cases may anticipate these diversionary tactics and scrutinize hospital and health insurance records for evidence. When these records are confusing or complex, attorneys could call on specialists to determine if treatment met generally accepted medical standards.

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