Doctors Perform Surgery on Wrong Patient

Joan Morris (a pseudonym) was a 67-year-old woman admitted to a hospital for cerebral angiography. She had fallen and struck her head. Magnetic resonance imaging showed two large cerebral aneurysms. The interventional radiology service admitted her for cerebral angiography…caringlawyers.com, acpjournals.org, 13 Disturbing Cases of Medical Malpractice, The Wrong Patient

The day after admission, cerebral angiography was performed, and one of the aneurysms was successfully embolized. The second aneurysm was deemed more amenable to surgical therapy, for which a subsequent admission was planned.

After angiography, the patient was transferred to the oncology floor rather than returning to her original bed on the telemetry unit. Discharge was planned for the following day. The next morning, however, the patient was taken for an invasive cardiac electrophysiology study. Approximately 1 hour into the procedure, it became apparent that Ms. Morris was the wrong patient and the study was supposed to be done on someone else. The study was aborted, and she was returned to her room in stable condition; however, the potential consequences of the extra surgery performed included significantly increased risks of heart attack, stroke, internal bleeding and infections.

The case wasn’t widely reported but is considered to be one of the most disturbing accounts of medical negligence.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD

In 2000, Comedian Dana Carvey Sued Surgeon For Operating His Wrong Artery

When he brought this up with his doctors, they assured him that it was simply the after effects of the surgery. When the discomfort did not go away, he eventually returned to his regular doctors for a second opinion, leading to a startling disclosure…caringlawyers.com, rmfwlaw.com, Comedian Dana Carvey Sues Cardiac Surgeon for Life-Threatening Surgical Error, 2019

Examination revealed that the incorrect artery had been operated on and that the blockage in Carvey’s diseased artery remained. While he did not require another open-heart surgery to rectify the problem, he did have to undergo another angioplasty to clear the blocked artery.

Carvey filed a $7.5 million medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon that made the mistake. He did this to recover damages for the six months he spent recovering from the angioplasty, which forced him to turn down offers to commercials, a television series, and a position on the “Hollywood Squares” game show. Carvey made a full recovery and settled the dispute for an undisclosed amount.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD

U.S. Government Pays $6.6M To Army Mom Taking The Total Payout to $10.2M

The former army sergeant had given birth to a son with quadriplegic cerebral palsy due to complications at the time of birth and sued the hospital, the veteran’s obstetrician, and the United States government…law.com, US Government’s $6.6M Med-Mal Settlement to Army Mom Brings Total Payout to $10.2M, Greg Land, 2020

In October 2019, the court awarded a compensation of $10.2 million in which the government’s share came to be more than $6.6 million. Two settlement agreements were reached after a mediation but the government’s processes for finalizing and paying the settlement were just completed and hence the total payout came to be $10.2 million.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD

A Rare Defense Verdict in 14 Minutes in a $16M Case

The post-trial motion has said that because the hearing and deliberations happened so quickly, the entire process raises several questions…law.com, A NE Pa. Jury Returned a Defense Verdict in 14 Minutes on a $16M Case. Plaintiff’s Counsel Is Crying Foul, Max Mitchell, 2020

While the counsel for the plaintiff did not specifically identify an “improper outside influence” that affected jury deliberations, he argued that a hearing was needed.

Earlier, the jury rendered a defense verdict, finding that none of the treatment provided by the defendants fell below the standard of care.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD