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Confused Doctor Operates On The Wrong Limb

By Gloria Borger / vendredi 21 septembre 2018 11:15
A patient in Amiens, France got an operation on the wrong knee due to a doctor with his head in the clouds.

Last April, Ali, a 39-year-old athlete, went to the hospital for a simple little knee checkup. The verdict: he must have an operation on the meniscus of his left knee. Emphasis on LEFT knee. This is important for the rest of the story.

He got on the operating table and was anesthetized. So far, so good. But upon leaving the operating room, the doctor informed him that there was a small problem with the nurses but he doesn't elaborate beyond that. It's only a few hours later once the effect of the anesthesia has dissipated that Ali realizes that he has two bandages. One on the left knee, one on the right knee. After several more hours, Ali learns that the surgeon was simply wrong. Yes, he mixed up his left and right.

During the operation, the Doctor made the simple but huge mistake of opening up the wrong knee. Obviously, he realized it too late, and subsequently decided to treat the actual bad knee to make up for his mistake. Clearly working with his head in the clouds,  the surgeon had also "forgotten" to specify this minor detail in his records for the procedure. Interesting.

It's been a few months, so what's happened since then? Frankly, nothing. The 39-year-old is still fighting with the hospital. Will there be consequences? Who knows! All we know is that a doctor (any adult really) should know left from right, but next time you're scheduled for a procedure, you might want to write "no" in marker all over your good limbs just in case.

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By  real life problems  |  26

Before my left shoulder surgery I saw another doctor for a second opinion and he evaluated my right shoulder. I thought it was funny and when he was done I asked if now he wanted to look at the shoulder with the problem. However the guy operating and then not documenting it is grounds for termination in my opinion. Oh and a settlement.

By  sherbear86  |  18

It’s not the doctor that preps the area, he comes in and everything is draped and ready to go. It’s a bit hard to tell if it’s the left or right knee when you’re looking at just a couple inches of skin.

Comments
By  real life problems  |  26

Before my left shoulder surgery I saw another doctor for a second opinion and he evaluated my right shoulder. I thought it was funny and when he was done I asked if now he wanted to look at the shoulder with the problem. However the guy operating and then not documenting it is grounds for termination in my opinion. Oh and a settlement.

By  Sam Fisher  |  9

If he at least knows his alphabet, the doc should try making an “L” with both hands and see which one faces the correct way, and that is the left hand. If he messes that up too he really needs to find a new profession....like permanent kindergartener

By  sherbear86  |  18

It’s not the doctor that preps the area, he comes in and everything is draped and ready to go. It’s a bit hard to tell if it’s the left or right knee when you’re looking at just a couple inches of skin.

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  riley873  |  15

(US here) I had a knee surgery. during the prep, the staff marked the correct knee. the operating doctor and nurses ALL signed or initiated said knee.
also, any good doc will check the patient chart BEFORE going into surgery

By  alycion  |  29

When I had a biopsy done on my left calf, they made me mark up my right leg and above my left knee, as well as my arms in pre op. They had me do it to ensure I agreed with which areas were marked. Thought it was a good idea. This biopsy could have been done in areas marked, but I had them do it where I was having the most trouble. Figured I’d rather a missing nerve in an area that already was messed up and hoped it would give better chances for answers. My family has had to do the same for their procedures. Maybe it’s an area thing.

By  KittyMack  |  11

Having had a family member get knee surgery recently, both knees, done one at a time a few months apart, I am aware that you can hobble around with crutches if you get one knee done, but if you get both at once, you're stuck in bed. I mean, poor dude didn't just have extra pain & scarring, odds are he was stuck using a bed pan and having someone fetch his food and other demoralizing stuff, vs if the dr had done just the one knee, he'd have been relatively independent. What a nightmare.

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