Top Three Wild Examples of Medical Malpractice 

June 26, 2019

Top Three Wild Examples of Medical Malpractice 

We’ve all heard the crazy stories about people who had the wrong limb amputated or the wrong organ operated on during surgery. But does that stuff still really happen? Yes, it does. In fact, according to Johns Hopkins Hospital, medical malpractice is one of the top three leading causes of death each year. Hang on to your seat because here are some of the craziest examples of medical malpractice from the last decade.

  1. Doctors Remove the Wrong Testicle

In 2013, Steven Haines saw Dr. V. Spencer Long for the pain he’d had in his right testicle for 15 years. An ultrasound revealed that the testicle had atrophied from a previous injury and Dr. Long scheduled surgery to remove the right testicle. Unfortunately, during surgery, Dr. Long removed Haines’ left testicle rather than the right testicle. Haines filed suit against Dr. Long and was awarded $870,000 for pain and suffering and punitive damages.

  1. Doctor Performs Heart Surgery on Wrong Patient

Lest we think that medical malpractice only happens in the United States, this case reminds us that serious mistakes can be universal. In 2013, an 83-year-old woman entered a hospital in South Africa for treatment of a respiratory infection. While she was there, she was mixed up with another patient who was there to undergo heart surgery. The doctor apparently realized the mistake while the wrong woman was undergoing surgery.

  1. 8-inch Long Forceps Left in Woman’s Abdomen

In April of 2017, Mary Harber entered Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, California, to have a benign tumor removed from her abdomen. While the surgery was successful, Harber ended up back in the emergency room a few weeks later with severe pain in her back, abdomen, and kidney. It turned out that Harber had a pair of 8-inch long forceps left in her abdomen. She had to have 18 inches of her small intestines removed because it had looped through the handle of the forceps. Estimates on how often this happens are varied, but one New England Journal of Medicine study said that about 1,500 objects are left behind after surgery out of 28.4 million surgeries.

While not all malpractice is as crazy as these three stories, many medical mistakes can cause serious harm. If you believe you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice, be sure to consult our experienced medical malpractice attorneys and lawyers to explore your options.


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