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Malfunctioning technology can lead to surgical errors

Likely, any Louisiana resident who has undergone surgery of any sort has experienced at least a bit of nervousness beforehand. With any surgery comes the potential for a poor outcome, and sometimes doctors make mistakes, such as accessing the wrong site. Such was the case for a woman in another state who underwent an operation on her kidney and became the victim of what hospitals refer to as a "never event," a term that applies to surgical errors that should never occur if hospitals follow proper procedures. The patient filed a lawsuit in March of this year, suing the hospital for more than $20 million.

According to the claim, the woman was admitted to the hospital in 2017 after experiencing pain and fever. She was scheduled for surgery to insert a stent into her urinary system. Surgeons were supposed to thread the stent through the left side of her urinary system and into her left kidney, but instead they implanted it through to her right kidney.

Both doctors involved in the woman's surgery have delivered depositions in which they admitted to the wrong-site error. Apparently, the surgical team typically consults an electronic whiteboard that provides patient information, but on the day of the woman's surgery, the whiteboard was not functioning. According to the surgeon in charge, he reviewed the procedure prior to the surgery, but then did not recall details correctly. A hospital resident discovered the error the following morning, whereupon, the surgeon addressed the issue with the patient, admitting the error and apologizing. Subsequently, the woman went through another procedure to implant the stent on the correct side of her body.

Unfortunately, the patient died recently of heart problems, but her two children are continuing the lawsuit with the added claim that the kidney problems contributed to her death. Louisiana residents or their families who feel they have also been victims of surgical errors may consider pursuing the matter through the civil court system, as this family has. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can review case details and provide legal guidance.

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