As some of our Arizona readers may know, appendicitis is a serious condition. Caused by an inflammation in the appendix, the only cure for appendicitis is emergency surgery that prevents the organ from rupturing and spilling the infection into a person’s abdominal cavity. And because one in 15 people get appendicitis in the United States, says WebMD, it might seem odd to many of our Phoenix readers that a surgeon would make a mistake when performing this common removal procedure.
But this was exactly the case for a man in New York who recently discovered that a surgeon, who was supposed to remove his appendix in a January 2013 surgery, had not done so, resulting in a second surgery nearly 14 months later. It’s because of this surgical error and seemingly blatant negligence that the man is suing the hospital for unspecified damages.
The mistake was discovered recently when the man doubled over in pain while on vacation. After undergoing emergency surgery, he was notified that his appendix had been removed, an organ he assumed he had been missing since January 2013. Despite the fact that the first surgeon indicated on the operation report that the appendix had been removed, the second surgery confirmed that he had not. So what then had the first surgeon removed?
According to pathology reports, the doctor had removed “a yellowish mass” that had not been reported to the man after the surgery. He was also sent home, thinking that his appendix had been removed when in fact it had not. This begs the question: had anyone read the pathology report prior to the man’s release?
Even though this did not happen to anyone here in Arizona, it’s worth noting that it easily could have. But just like the man in this case, if a similar mistake were to occur here, our readers may want to take legal action against the negligent hospital and seek compensation as well.
Source: CBS New York, “Bronxville Man Sues After Undergoing Second Appendectomy,” April 10, 2014