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Another MD mistake

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by viperdoc, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. viperdoc

    viperdoc Junior Member
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    Doctor Operates on Wrong Knee

    .c The Associated Press


    SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. (AP) - A surgeon who mistakenly operated on a man's healthy hip five years ago has performed surgery on another patient's healthy knee, even though the leg intended for surgery was marked ``Yes.''

    As a result, Dr. Craig DuMond will no longer practice at the Adirondack Medical Center, hospital president and CEO Chandler Ralph told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. DuMond also relinquished his title as president of AMC's medical staff and terminated his private practice in Saranac Lake.

    In a letter issued Friday, DuMond said he was embarrassed and anguished by the incident.

    After a 1996 operation, in which DuMond mistakenly pinned an elderly patient's wrong hip, AMC officials required its staff to write the word ``Yes'' on any limb that was supposed to be operated on.

    For Monday's surgery, ``Yes'' was correctly marked on the patient's problem knee, but DuMond operated on the other one anyway, said AMC Public Relations Director Cheryl Breen Randall.

    For all future limb surgeries, hospital staff will also be required to pull a red hockey sock over the wrong arm or leg, and write the word ``No'' underneath.

    The hospital notified state regulatory agencies, Ralph said.

    The patient in the 1996 operation filed a lawsuit that was settled out of court. Terms of that settlement and of a state-approved disciplinary action were confidential.


    PS:
    THis was a MEDICAL doctor, not a DO. Think about that the next time you start a "DO vs MD" thread!
     
  2. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)
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    Hey Viperdoc...are YOU insinuating that Osteopathic physicians are NOT "Medical" doctors????????


    Funny, I could have sworn they were...must be thinkin' about Dentists.... [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by Cobragirl (edited 03-17-2001).]
     
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  3. Many surgeons write "yes" on the right leg and "no" on the wrong leg.

    Seems trivial, but it happens!
     
  4. Djanaba

    Djanaba Senior Member
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    You know, there's got to be a lot bigger problem than this one doc. Most surgeries I've been scrubbed in on, we didn't even scrub in until after the patient was under anesthesia, and the area sterile and draped. What about the anesthesiologist present? What about the nurses, the surg. techs? All of these people have eyes, and know the rules. While the surgeon is certainly a main culprit, I can't let the rest of the staff get off scott free. Looking after each others' butts (and advocating for the welfare of our patients) is important stuff.
     
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  5. KG

    KG Member
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    I think if I ever need surgery I'll write "WRONG LEG" or "DO NOT REMOVE THIS KIDNEY!" with indelible magic marker just to be on the safe side...
     
  6. Colorado_2

    Colorado_2 Member
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    I think the bigger picture is that the surgeon went through decades of training and stress (like most of us, or probably worse), and likely put off family and creative interests for his career. It shows you how easily any dream can topple. Imagine the hell this guy is living in right now.
     
  7. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member
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    Colorado, your compassion is refreshing. Thank you. ;)
     
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  8. Chucky Painkomo

    Chucky Painkomo Junior Member
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    One of the Ortho docs in my hometown amputated the wrong leg on a patient a few years back. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: So I guess these mistakes are more common than we think!!! By the way, he was a Tulane MD with a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic for total joint replacement (so its not like he was an idiot).
     
  9. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member
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    So what do they do? Amputate both then? How horrible for the patient. I suppose he would take the Dr. to court, but judging from the evidence, he wouldn't have a leg to stand on.... {canned laughter} Yes, that's an awful and very mean joke, not to mention corny, but I couldn't help myself.
     
  10. Street Philosopher

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    at least it was only a knee and not like a lung
     
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  11. Dr. Pedo

    Dr. Pedo Senior Member
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    Usually I enjoy reading your posts Cobragirl-- but what are you insinuating about dentists? ;)
     
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  12. Socceroo4ever

    Socceroo4ever Senior Member
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    Erm... I've said it before and I'll say it again: people make mistakes. But do we *really* make mistakes like this? "Gosh, gee, I operated on the wrong knee!" I can understand accidentally taking the wrong X-ray, MRI, lab work, etc, but something this serious... no no no, something ain't right here.

    I'm not doing the MD vs. DO debate here. All I'm saying is that given the last few posts, this one doctor's "mistake" is by no means uncommon. I may be forgetful enough to wonder where my sunglasses are ("They're on your head, dear"), but you can bet anything like operating on a patient would be something so serious that I'd make absolutely certain I was operating on the right organ... using the right procedure too!

    Call it shock. Next time I have a knee surgery for those awful ACL tears in soccer, though, I'll mark my own knee. :D
     
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  13. swdave

    swdave Senior Member
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    I remember helping a patient on dialysis that something like this happened to.

    The surgeon removed the patients working kidney! :eek:

    It settled out of court, I was told the depression rate for patients on dialysis was very high, I hope the patient was somehow compensated for that life-altering error.

    PS: I didn't care then and I wouldn't care now if the surgeon was an MD or DO. Those debates are very trivial in my eyes. :rolleyes:

    Dave
     
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