Because of a precancerous lesion, 60-year-old Deborah Craven had her eighth rib removed last year at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. Unfortunately, she said the doctors removed a part of her seventh rib instead and she had to undergo another surgery for the correction.
Craven sued the Connecticut hospital, which responded with a statement last week. The hospital said it recognized that an error was committed and that it had informed and issued an apology to the patient. In the statement, the hospital added that it immediately reported the incident to the Connecticut Department of Health.
Joel Faxon, Craven's lawyer, said that his client never received the said apology. Instead, one of the surgeons tried to cover up the error. "No one apologized. And they never explained to her how the mistake was made," said Faxon.
On May 18, 2015, Craven complained about post-surgery pain and had an X-ray to determine the cause. Yale's assistant professor of surgery Dr. Anthony Kim told Craven that the wrong rib was removed.
Now here's the twist: Five minutes after Kim told the couple about the wrong rib, Dr. Ricardo Quarrie said something different.
Craven's complaint stated that Quarrie told them that the surgeons were unable to remove enough rib during the first surgery. Quarrie told Craven she had to have another operation for the correction.
"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," wrote Faxon in a press release.
For her second surgery, the Cravens made a specific request that Quarrie not be involved because they felt he was incompetent. Unfortunately, the medical records showed that Quarrie had also been involved in the second surgery.
The lawsuit said the correct rib had been marked with dye and metal coils pre-surgery so the Yale surgeons should have known that they took out the wrong rib. After the surgery, the surgeons should have known immediately that a mistake was made because they didn't remove the marking coils. The lawsuit also accused the Yale surgeons for their failure in conducting an X-ray to ensure they had operated properly.