Horrifying Surgical Mistake: Surgery Performed On Wrong Newborn

Posted on February 24, 2016 by Shapiro Law Group


We recently discussed how medical mistakes can permanently alter the lives of hospital patients. Wrong-patient surgeries are one of the worst types of medical mistakes. When children are the victims of these mistakes, it is especially tragic.

In Tennessee, doctors operated on the wrong newborn, possibly causing permanent damage. According to the mother, doctors made a surgical mistake by requesting the wrong infant for tongue-clipping surgery. Due to the nature of the surgery, which involves cutting a flap of skin from under the tongue, this innocent newborn may have speaking and eating problems for the rest of his life.

The mother is also scarred from this traumatic experience. When nurses came to take her baby away, the mother thought it was for routine examinations, such as measuring weight or blood type. After doctors returned her baby, she noticed he was bleeding underneath his tongue and instantly broke down crying. She had never expected her child to be subject to an unnecessary surgery.

Even after discovering the mistake, the pediatrician responsible for the surgery was very nonchalant, claiming the baby “didn’t even cry”. The hospital has claimed the pediatrician responsible is not a staff member at the hospital, but an independent doctor.

Surgical Mistakes Cause Permanent Damage to Patients

Wrong-patient surgeries are inexcusable, especially when children are the victims. As we mentioned in our blog last week, it is recommended by the Joint Commission (the agency that accredits hospitals) to have a “time-out” period before surgical procedures to double-check work. If this doctor had double checked his work, an innocent newborn may have never been hurt by this surgical mistake in the first place.

Shapiro Law Group is a Tampa Bay medical malpractice law firm with decades of combined experience helping the victims of medical malpractice hold negligent hospitals accountable.

Tags: MedicalError


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