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Lawsuit claims surgeon left metal coils in body of woman

New Mexico residents who are scheduled for surgery might want to make sure the operation takes place in the correct area after a March report about a woman who had the wrong rib removed. The 60-year-old woman has filed a malpractice lawsuit against her surgeon after learning that he operated on the incorrect rib and left metal coils used during the procedure inside her body.

The surgery performed at Yale-New Haven Hospital had been meant to take out her eighth rib that had a lesion. Because pain persisted after the surgery, she sought an exam from a different physician. After getting another X-ray, the woman learned that she was the victim of wrong-site surgery. The original surgeon soon stepped in and told her that he had worked on the correct rib but had not removed enough of it to cure the problem.

Suspecting that he was trying to cover up a mistake, the woman decided to take legal action. Her lawyer said that the surgeon's lie about the mistake prompted her to file the lawsuit. Another attorney said that surgical mistakes often happen because of flipped X-rays or packed surgical schedules that overwhelm health care workers.

Even when the cause of a mistake can be identified, a patient who has been harmed by a medical error often faces additional and expensive hospital care and treatment. An attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation will attempt to determine whether the health care practitioner or facility failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care and should thus be held financially responsible for the patient's losses.

Source: Medical Daily, "Medical Malpractice Suit: Doctor Removes Wrong Rib During Surgery, Lies To Cover Up Mistake", Dana Dovey, March 25, 2016

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