Cummings Law discusses an instance of medical malpractice where two Vanderbilt doctors operated on the wrong kidney.

When health care providers fail in their duty of care, the results are often catastrophic. Being the victim of medical malpractice can cause your existing health issues to worsen, and can also cause new health issues to be uncomfortable and painful. You trust your doctors to help you feel better. Especially when you plan to have surgery.

Surgery is a big deal. You are leaving your health and well-being in the hands of surgeons and their support staff. The thought of doctors being negligent while operating on someone is scary, but it happens more than you think. If you experienced a surgical error, you may be able to bring a surgical malpractice claim.

In November 2017, Carla Miller had pain in her side and fever. She was later hospitalized at Vanderbilt Medical Center because her health issue was kidney-related. For treatment, the doctors decided to implant a mesh tube, called a “stent,” into her urinary system that would thread from the urethra and into the left kidney. Surgeons implanted the stent, however, it was on the right kidney instead.

Vanderbilt Doctors Operate on the Wrong Kidney

The Vanderbilt doctors conducting the surgery were Dr. Kevin Moses, an assistant professor of urology, and Dr. Elizabeth Green, a urology resident. Both doctors admitted to an error in Miller’s surgery. In his deposition, Dr. Moses recalled that the surgical plan for the procedure was reviewed beforehand, but the details of the surgery were incorrectly recalled during the surgery. Dr. Green provided further insight into the mistake. She recalled in her deposition that the error occurred when she first announced the surgical site to be the right kidney when it should have been the left. This would usually have been checked against an electronic whiteboard that displays a checklist of the patient’s information. But, for unknown reasons, the whiteboard was not working and so the procedure was done on the right side.

Because of the surgical error, Miller required a second procedure to replace the stent and have it placed on the correct side of her body. Miller’s attorney also asserts that this error caused Milled to suffer from damage to her urinary system, which led her to require dialysis for the rest of her life. Miller died two months after filing suit due to heart problems. Her family, who is continuing to bring the lawsuit, states that kidney issues were a contributing factor in her death.

Nashville Surgical Malpractice Attorneys

Wrong-site surgeries, also known as “never events,” should not happen if hospitals and medical professionals follow proper procedures. They are very rare. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says wrong-site surgeries occur about once in every 112,000 surgeries. While wrong-site surgeries may be rare, the prospect is still scary and can lead to tragic consequences. If you are a victim of surgical malpractice, Cummings Law will fight for you and your right to be fairly compensated. Contact us today.

Posted in: Surgical Malpractice