Treatment errors: Doctors removed healthy kidney

Doctors at the Klagenfurt Clinic removed the healthy kidney instead of the kidney with a cancer tumor.

A healthy kidney was removed from a 59-year-old patient at the Klagenfurt Clinic. The doctors have obviously made a serious malpractice. Instead of the kidney infected with cancer, the right, healthy kidney was removed. If the doctors are unable to remove the tumor from the affected kidney, the patient may be bound to a dialysis procedure (blood wash) for life.

At the Klagenfurt Clinic, the doctors made a serious malpractice during an operation. The patient had to undergo medical intervention because the left kidney was affected by a malignant cancer tumor. However, instead of removing the left kidney, the right, healthy kidney was removed. This medical error only became apparent in the pathology when the doctors discovered that the kidney sent in was not affected by a tumor. But at that moment it was too late, the kidney could not be transplanted back. At the Klagenfurt Clinic, the question is now how this serious medical error could have happened. Why did all security standards fail?

For the affected cancer patient, the removal of the wrong kidney is more than tragic. Now the doctors have to try to operate the cancer tumor from the affected kidney in order to somehow save the kidney. Or the affected kidney must also be removed, which would mean that the affected person would be bound to dialysis treatment for a lifetime. Only a donor kidney could then help the person affected.

The causes of a treatment error can be very complex. Human failure is often an option. Numerous risk factors favor a medical malpractice, especially because errors in treatment are taboo rather than analyzed. Determining the causes is, however, very important in order to avoid the risk of medical malpractice in the future. The confusion of "left-right" is very common, sometimes even patients are confused. However, an increasing workload of doctors, inaccurate distribution of responsibilities or a missing or faulty communication between patient and doctor can also be considered. The public prosecutor must now investigate the causes of this serious malpractice. (sb, Nov 4, 2010)

Also read:
Treatment errors: Doctors are often overworked
Cancer not recognized: doctor has to pay
Kidney transplant: urgent & life-giving

Image: Michael B├╝hrke /

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