Patients in Washington, D.C. who undergo surgery are under anesthesia the whole time, meaning they are unconscious and helpless, their very lives placed in the surgeons' hands. With such high stakes, surgeons are expected to carefully review all pertinent information before every surgery to ensure they are fully prepared to perform each operation correctly and avoid surgical error. How frightening, then, to think that a surgeon might claim to have reviewed all appropriate documents and be familiar with a patient's case, only for the patient to awaken and find that the surgeon had removed a perfectly healthy organ instead of a cancerous tumor.
In another state, a recently filed medical malpractice lawsuit claims that this nightmare scenario is exactly what occurred. The patient, an 83-year-old man, has filed a civil suit against a hospital and several doctors, alleging that, during a surgery to remove a tumor attached to his right kidney, they instead took out his healthy left kidney. Additionally, the complaint alleges, members of the surgical team went so far as to falsely file reports stating that they had reviewed the medical records and pertinent documents before the operation took place.