Another Wrong-Site Surgery Malpractice Case at Syracuse’s Upstate University Hospital

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for surgery.jpgSyracuse medical malpractice lawyers are taking note: Upstate University Hospital has a recent demonstrated history of performing botched or erroneous surgeries. The lawyers at Michaels & Smolak know this first-hand. We have successfully sued Upstate several times, including a case two years ago which rendered a $2.5 Million verdict to an elderly Parkinson’s patient who was paralyzed and brain damaged due to an avoidable equipment malfunction during brain surgery.

The Syracuse Post Standard now reports that an Upstate University Hospital neurosurgeon was recently suspended after he or she (they won’t disclose the name) made an unnecessary incision. And not just a minor incision. Although the Hospital refused to disclose any further details, anonymous sources say that the unnecessary cut spans almost the entire length of the patient’s back, whereas only a relatively small incision was needed.

This is yet another clear case of Upstate Hospital medical malpractice. And it’s the third time since 2004 that Upstate doctors have blundered by cutting patients in wrong place, a totally avoidable error. In the other two cases, Upstate surgeons made an incision on the wrong side of a baby’s head when attempting to operate on his brain and they operated on the wrong side of a patient in attempting to remove a tumor from an adrenal gland.

In recent years, hospitals around the country have been forced by regulators to adopt strict protocol to avoid wrong-site surgeries. Hospitals are required to call “timeouts” before operations in which doctors and others double-check that they are operating on the right person in the right spot. The target site must be pre-marked with markers.

Although wrong-site surgeries have decreased since these procedures were instituted, wrong-site surgery malpractice continues to be a problem at some hospitals such as Upstate. Apparently, Upstate is simply not forcing its doctors to carefully follow the protocol.

Upstate has had other recent malpractice woes. A recent State investigation unearthed numerous medical errors at Upstate, not the least of which was a case where an inexperienced neurosurgeon in training was allowed to perform a complicated spinal surgery without adequate supervision.

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