A Missouri neurosurgeon who operated on the wrong side of his patient’s brain in April 2013 will not be subject to state disciplinary action due to the wrong side surgery. A letter sent to the patient’s attorney last month advised that the investigation that began as a result of the attorney’s complaint had been completed and the case closed, with no action other than a record of the investigation being retained by the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (Division of Professional Registration).
Despite a medical malpractice lawsuit having been filed on behalf of the patient, who requires around-the-clock medical care due to the incident, and the lawsuit having been resolved pursuant to a settlement, the neurosurgeon has apparently dodged any further repercussions as a result of the matter.
On April 4, 2013, the 53-year-old woman was marked with indelible ink on the left side of her head to indicate which side of her brain was to be subject to a craniotomy bypass to address her history of mini-strokes. Photos of the patient before and after the surgery show the marking on the left side of her head and the bandages from the surgery on the right side of her head. As a result of the wrong site surgery, she had to have the correct surgery performed a few days later and is now wheelchair-bound and her speech is unintelligible.
An online inquiry to the Missouri Division of Professional Registration with regard to the current status of the neurosurgeon’s medical license in Missouri indicates that the neurosurgeon has an unrestricted Missouri medical license that expires on January 31, 2016, and that he has no current disciplinary actions against him (“The Division of Professional Registration makes every attempt to ensure accuracy and reliability of the data contained in these documents. Every attempt is made to keep the information up-to-date and accurate”). So how would an ordinary consumer who may be doing his/her due diligence before seeking medical care from the neurosurgeon know about the past incident or that a complaint was filed against him with the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts that was closed without disciplinary action?
The Missouri Division of Professional Registration states on its website, “The division exists to serve and protect the public from incompetency, misconduct, gross negligence, fraud, misrepresentation or dishonesty by providing an accessible, responsible and accountable regulatory system that licenses only qualified professionals by examination and evaluation of minimum competency and enforces standards by implementing legislation and administrative rules.”
The neurosurgeon may very well be competent and prospective patients may have no problem in seeking and receiving critical medical care from him, but shouldn’t prospective (and current) patients have easy access to information that may be relevant to their choice in selecting a neurosurgeon as a medical provider?
If you or a loved one suffered injury (or worse) due to wrong side surgery or wrong site surgery in the United States, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with Missouri medical malpractice lawyers (or medical malpractice lawyers in your state) who may assist you, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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