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Florida Surgeon Mistakenly Removed Woman’s Healthy Kidney Believed To Be a Tumor


A Florida surgeon from Wellington Regional Medical Center removed a woman’s kidney during a routine back surgery. He believed it was a tumor, but it was actually a healthy, viable organ. The woman was awarded a settlement and the doctor faces disciplinary action.

The 51-year-old patient checked into the medical center in April 2016 to undergo bone fusion in her lower back, necessitated by injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. During that routine procedure, the doctor saw the organ and believed it was a tumor. He declared it an emergency and removed it. The woman, who was unconscious, was not consulted before the organ was removed.

The Florida Department of Health filed a complaint against the doctor, who serves as chairman of surgery at Palm Beach Medical Center and has privileges in other medical centers. He faces a fine, the loss of his medical license and other disciplinary action. The surgeon, who does not carry malpractice insurance, did not admit liability. The malpractice insurers for the woman’s primary surgeons settled the case for $250,000 each in September 2018.

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality deems such wrong-site or wrong-procedure surgical mistakes as “never” events, incidents that can be easily be avoided by competent medical attention and proper precautionary measures. The Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs throughout the United States, reported 95 wrong-patient, wrong-site or wrong-procedure surgical mistakes in 2017.

When a patient is injured during a medical procedure, it does not necessarily mean that there is an actionable medical negligence claim. These types of cases require the testimony of a medical expert about the expected standard of care and the medical provider’s deviation from this standard. However, in some situations, the negligent act is so clear that expert testimony is not necessary. A qualified attorney can review the circumstance surrounding the case to determine if there is a viable claim.

If you believe that your medical provider’s negligence caused your injury, a capable Palm Harbor medical malpractice attorney at the Law Office of Paul B. Genet, P.A. can help. Our founding attorney has more than 30 years of experience helping accident and medical malpractice victims recover compensation. At a free consultation, we will examine whether you have a viable action against the medical provider. We assist clients throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Contact us online or call us at 727-538-8865 to get started on your claim.

Paul Genet
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