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Kentucky patients may risk malpractice

A doctor at an internationally well-known hospital, New York City's Mount Sinai Medical Center, was recently relieved of his duties after performing an incorrect kidney operation. The patient, a 76-year-old man who had two diseased kidneys, was scheduled to have one of them removed. The surgeon who performed the operation accidentally took out the wrong kidney, and he was subsequently prohibited from performing both clinical and administrative tasks.

The names of the doctor and patient involved in this case have not been released to the public, and the correct organ was later removed. Although the hospital reports that the man is recovering and that he holds no ill will towards the doctor, the situation demonstrates the kinds of hospital mistakes and surgical errors that can occur even at larger facilities. The hospital did not reveal when this incident occurred, but it state that an investigation is pending.

Medical accidents aren't always resolved so amicably. Although the hospital's apology was accepted in light of the fact that the surgeon had a good history with this particular patient and the facility later corrected the issue, many victims of medical error suffer far more serious consequences.

Medical mistakes like lost implements, incorrect administering of medication, negligent treatment and improperly performed procedures can lead to other negative health effects. In addition, patients may have to pay extra treatment fees for the additional corrective procedures they need because of the bad care they originally received. Many seek court compensation, and malpractice attorneys may help them establish the evidence they need to do so.

Source: CBS News, "Wrong kidney removed at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City", Ryan Jaslow, May 10, 2013

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