Surgery on Wrong Side of Woman’s Brain Prompts Malpractice Suit

A medical malpractice lawsuit was filed recently against a St. Lois hospital and neurosurgeon, by the family of a woman alleging that the defendants operated on the wrong side of her brain and skull.

According to the complaint, the patient, was scheduled for a “left-sided craniotomy bypass.” Instead, the suit alleges, she received a “right-sided craniotomy surgical procedure.” A second surgery was reportedly performed six days later on the correct side of the woman’s skull following the discovery of the error.

According to her lawyer, the woman is now unable to speak intelligibly.

The suit alleges that the hospital and surgeon were negligent and careless, which led to the incorrect side surgery.

Specifically, the suit alleges that, “Before the incorrect surgery, plaintiff was mobile, cognizant and able to care for herself,” but after the allegedly botched job, “[she] requires around-the-clock care for her basic needs. … (She) will also continue to suffer from emotional distress, anxiety, disfigurement and depression.”
The patient underwent the surgery because she suffered from a series of mini-strokes, and was hoping that the craniotomy bypass surgery would prevent future strokes.

According to Maryland law, in order to win a medical malpractice case, the patient must demonstrate that the healthcare professional who treated them failed to meet the appropriate standard of care. A standard of care is defined as the generally accepted procedures and practices used by medical professionals when treating patients with a particular disease or disorder, within the same geographic area. The standard of care can vary based upon a number of factors, which includes the patient’s age and medical history. In addition to showing that the doctor or medical provider breached the standard of care, the patient must also show that this breach is responsible for causing their injuries.

In this case, based upon the facts set forth in the article, the alleged breach would be the fact that none of the healthcare professionals realized the error regarding which side of the brain was to be operated on. Unfortunately, while this case is shocking, it is not that uncommon. A recent study found that accidents such as this one, which are commonly referred to as “surgical never events,” occur at least 4,000 times a year. Whatever the particular error was in this case, assuming that the allegations are true, it seems clear that it was responsible for the subsequent surgery on the wrong side of the brain, which caused the plaintiff to suffer the injuries described.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the negligent care of a physician, podiatrist, or other medical provider, you should seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can help you identify all of the responsible parties, evaluate your claim, and develop a strategy to win compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are skilled at pursuing claims for people in Maryland injured due to the malpractice or negligence of medical professionals. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys will fight to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today online or by calling (800) 654-1949 in order to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Maryland Man Dies Tragically at Tough Mudder Race, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published April 29, 2013
School District to Pay $90 Million for Wrongful Death of 13-Year-Old, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published April 22, 2013

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