When Deborah Craven entered Yale New Haven Hospital for surgery, she understood that she was having her left eighth rib removed due to the presence of a precancerous lesion. Prior to the operation the rib had been carefully marked with both dye and metal coils in order to provide the physicians with certainty that they were removing the correct body part. Yet despite this, upon waking up from her surgery and having a follow-up X-ray done, Craven and her husband were informed that she would have to be taken back into surgery. Dr. AnthonyKim, an assistant professor of surgery, informed the couple that the wrong rib had been removed – one of the surgeons had removed part of her left seventh rib instead.
Craven has filed a personal injury lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court against Yale New HavenHospital, Yale University School of Medicine, and the two surgeons involved in her operation.She is seeking upwards of $15,000 in damages for the mistake, and states in her claim that much of the basis of the suit is not for the mistake, but because shortly after Dr. Kim told the couple of the mistake, another physician, Dr. Ricardo Quarrie, came to them and said something entirely different. He told the Cravens that the second surgery was required because the surgery had not removed enough of the rib.
According to Craven’s attorney, “Making the patient undergo another surgery the same day,without owning up to the real medical reason for the repeat surgery is just plain deceitful. Absent the lying my client never would have instituted a lawsuit.” Personal injury lawsuits filed for medical malpractice are based upon the healthcare facility and medical care practitioners failing to provide the standard of care that would be reasonably expected of their peers in the same situation. Failure to pay close enough attention to remove a rib that had been clearly marked is reason enough, but the mistruth that came from Dr. Quarrie, who has been identified as a resident/fellow at the hospital, was an outrage for the patient. Many studies have shown that patients who have been the victims of medical errors are open to apologies from those responsible: lies are a completely different story.