Boston hospital made 3 spine operation errors

Dec 24, 2010

(AP) -- A major Boston teaching hospital has been cited by federal and state health inspectors after doctors operated on the wrong location on three spine surgery patients.

All three unconnected errors happened since September.

Dr. Kenneth Sands is the senior vice president of health care quality at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He tells The Boston Globe the surgeons apparently miscounted the patients' vertebrae and operated directly above or below where they were supposed to.

Two operations were conducted by the same surgeon. The did not release names.

The hospital has procedures in place to avoid errors, and those procedures have been improved.

Sands says none of the patients suffered harmful effects as a result of the mistaken surgery. But a lawyer for one says the woman has experienced problems.

Explore further: World's first wearable blue LED light therapy device to treat skin disease psoriasis vulgaris

3.3 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study investigates the cost effectiveness of spinal surgery

Dec 29, 2008

Back pain affects more than 80 percent of people and costs more than $100 billion annually in the U.S. But is the surgery cost effective? A study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center suggests that for patients ...

Recommended for you

Motion capture examines dance techniques

Sep 29, 2014

WAAPA dance students are set to take part in a world-first biomechanical study that tracks their training, technique and injuries as they develop as professional performers.

User comments : 9

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

geokstr
1 / 5 (3) Dec 24, 2010
OMG, I can't wait until 2014, when instead of trained surgeons and medical professionals who make human errors on rare occasions, we'll have bureaucrats telling us which part of the spine to operate on, if they deem your pitiful little life worth saving, that is.
Jonseer
not rated yet Dec 24, 2010
geokstr - where do you come up with that ridiculous garbage? What's pathetic is that you think your nonsense it's true.
THAT is already with the situation. Insurance desk jockeys routinely turn down procedures Drs. insist must be performed on a patient. Long gone are the days when a Dr. gives the orders. It's insurance company bureaucrats that say yes or no strictly based on the financials not the patient's need.
Oh and "rare human error" is more stupidity.
There are consequences to those human errors. Operating on the wrong part of an injured spine can easily result in permanent paralysis, because healthy tissue is permanently damaged when cut and sliced for no reason.
I suppose the patients who were looking for a better life after the operation, are now facing more pain and misery - but they're just whiners yeah right.
You didn't even bother to check the # of times Doctors commit human error, because such errors are anything but rare
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (3) Dec 24, 2010
House would have saved all three of them. He's like Matlock and Columbo and Dr. Quinn all in one.

Seiously though, why no nurse or MA saying, "Hey doc, you sure that's right?"

You'd think other people on the staff would be experienced enough to catch stuff like this, even if the lead surgeon is having a brain lapse. Apparently not.
geokstr
1 / 5 (3) Dec 24, 2010
Insurance desk jockeys routinely turn down procedures Drs. insist must be performed on a patient.

And if they do there is still somewhere else to go. It's called competition. Once gummint is in charge, that's that.
CarolinaScotsman
5 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2010
geokstr you idiot, once an insurance company says no, it's too late to go out and buy other insurance. That's called pre-existing condition. Are you really so stupid or are you just a troll?
geokstr
1 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2010
geokstr you idiot, once an insurance company says no, it's too late to go out and buy other insurance. That's called pre-existing condition. Are you really so stupid or are you just a troll?

Why don't you move to Cuba? I hear Michael Moore swears that the poorest of the poor there get the same gilt-edged treatment as Der Fidel himself gets.

This article was about highly trained professionals doing things that humans will do no matter what the wonderful government will legislate or regulate, i.e., make human errors. But once government itself makes the decisions, there is no recourse, even to the surviving family members.

Private businesses can still be sued, if the patient survives a mistake they can change insurance companies, and if a private company makes enough mistakes or other decisions bad for customers, it goes out of business.

Not so much with gummint.
VOR
5 / 5 (5) Dec 25, 2010
geokstr is just an example of the FOX Beck/Limbaugh audience. They spread ignorance and nonsence. It would be funny if there weren't so many of them. There is no discipline, no logic, and little wisdom in thier ways. They preach about the evils and problems in the world, complain about the size of government while ignoring its vital role, but its ironic that they are actually the biggest bringers of disfunction and regression in the country. Ther're far more effective at that than any domestic (or foreign) terrorist has ever been.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2010
Insurance desk jockeys routinely turn down procedures Drs. insist must be performed on a patient.

And if they do there is still somewhere else to go. It's called competition. Once gummint is in charge, that's that.

Beth Israel Deaconess is a private non-profit hospital. You've refuted your own point. Go fish.
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2010
VOR:

Glenn Beck has a serious problem in that he simply cannot imagine that anyone would call for equality and not instantly be associated with Mao or Stalin.

By Beck's reconing, anyone who isn't Capitalism's biggest fan boy must automatically be a pro-mass-murdering, Nazi or Chinese communist.

Can someone explain to this reader why Glenn Beck finds the Russian bill of rights, where it says that everyone has a right to work, why is that so evil? Apparently, FOX news believes that some people should just suffer and die, because that's just their lot in life, and they deserve it.

I can't stand any of the news agencies or talk programs. Almost only thing any of them ever do is look for dirt on one another, and tell "their version" of the most recent current event, which is so highly spun and twisted as to be a complete lie by the time you, the viewer, see/hear it anyway.

Beck should read his Bible where it says they had everything COMMON, and none was their own.