Doctors mistakenly removed wrong rib, necessitating second surgery to correct the error.
Deborah Craven, 60, underwent surgery last May to remove part of her eighth rib that contained a cancerous lesion, but according to a lawsuit filed in Connecticut Superior Court, her doctors removed the wrong rib, and then tried to cover up the mistake.
An article on CBS says Ms. Craven had to undergo a second surgery, after telling her doctors she was still in pain, and an X-ray confirmed the wrong rib had been removed. Doctors at Yale New Haven Hospital informed Ms. Craven and her husband the wrong rib had been removed, according to the complaint, but then contend a few minutes later, Dr. Ricardo Quarrie told them a different story. The complaint says Quarrie said the surgery team “had not removed enough rib during the surgery and, for that reason, she would need to undergo another surgery.”
A statement from Yale, issued last week, said “We recognized that an error was made, we informed and apologized to the patient, and we immediately reported it to the Connecticut Department of Health.”
But, says Ms. Craven’s lawyer Joel Faxon, she never received an apology from the doctors. Faxon issued a statement saying, “Making the patient undergo another surgery the same day, without owning up to the real medical reason for the repeat surgery is just plain deceitful.”
The complaint continues to say the correct rib had been marked before the surgery with metal coils and dye, and the surgery team should have realized immediately they had mistakenly removed the incorrect rib. The complaint also accuses the surgeons of failing to do a follow-up x-ray, to make sure the procedure had been done correctly.
The Cravens say they specifically asked that Dr. Quarrie not be involved with the second surgery, needed to correct the mistake, but the medical records indicate that he was. According to the CBS article, Dr. Quarrie declined to comment on the situation.
The statement released by the hospital also said the facility is “committed to providing the safest and highest quality of care possible. However, even in the best organizations medical errors may occur. When they do, our goal is to acknowledge them, learn from them, and ensure that we minimize any chance that they ever occur again.”