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Surgical errors result in man’s healthy kidney removal

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2017 | Surgical Errors

Waking up to discover a healthy kidney has been unnecessarily removed is something usually found in horror movies or nightmares. Unfortunately, for one man it is a reality. While some Delaware patients anticipate some minor surgical errors might occur, the mistaken removal of a healthy kidney is not one of them.

The unfortunate event began on a day that two men with the same name and similar in age both had CT scans performed at a medical facility in relation to their kidney symptoms. One man had healthy kidneys and the other had a large tumor that required immediate surgery. Despite known policy and safety standards to use two patient identifiers when diagnosing patients, the surgeon relied only on the man’s name, resulting in the confusion between the patients and a wrong diagnosis for one of them.

As most patients do, the healthy man believed his surgeon’s diagnosis and agreed to have the tumor removed. Records state that once in surgery, there was no evidence of a tumor on the kidney, but it was removed anyway. After a pathologist informed the surgeon that a healthy kidney had been removed, the man’s correct CT scan was pulled from his chart and the mistake was verified. The man with an accurate diagnosis of a kidney tumor had his tumor and kidney removed correctly on a later date.

Many medical and surgical errors can alter a person’s life as he or she knew it before. The patient expects to require medical monitoring for the rest of his life now that he is short one kidney. He has filed a lawsuit against the facilities and medical professionals for his suffering and lifetime of expensive medical care. Medical malpractice attorneys in Delaware can advise patients with similar cases of their rights to litigation in civil court. 

Source:, “Worcester man recalls shock after healthy kidney removed“, Dianne Williamson, April 11, 2017