A 60-year-old woman from Milford, Connecticut, is suing Yale-New Haven Hospital at Yale University and two doctors for allegedly removing the wrong body part during surgery.
Deborah Craven underwent surgery on May 18, 2015, to remove a potentially cancerous lesion on her eighth rib that was causing her pain, the lawsuit states, according to WVIT.
After the first surgery was completed, she was told another one had to be performed on the same day. The surgeon-in-training, Ricardo Quarrie, M.D., who performed the first surgery allegedly lied to Craven as to why she had to go under the knife again.
The lawsuit claims it was because he removed the wrong rib during the first surgery.
Craven was supposed to be operated on by a Yale attending physician and members of the Yale-New Haven Hospital staff, but resident Quarrie was made a part of the surgical team without her knowledge.
The rib that was supposed to be removed had metallic coils placed onto it by radiologists and a marking dye was injected into Craven’s skin and the surrounding tissue. Still, the wrong rib was initially removed.
When Craven experienced pain following the surgery, an x-ray was ordered. The x-ray showed the metal markers were still in her rib, proving the wrong rib was removed.
The resident then allegedly lied and said “not enough rib” was removed, and ordered the second surgery to occur immediately.
“The fact that the surgical team operated on the wrong rib despite a clear indication of the proper site is, of course, negligent,” Craven’s attorney, Joel T. Faxon, of Faxon Law Group in New Haven, said in a statement. “But the fact that a cardiothoracic surgeon in training would make the outrageous claim that ‘not enough rib had been taken’ really takes this to another level of culpability. 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."
Craven would not have filed a lawsuit if doctors had told her the truth.
“Absent the lying my client never would have instituted a lawsuit. As the old adage goes the cover up is worse than the crime,” Faxon said.
Craven is suing for negligence and unfair trade practices.
She claims to suffer from “serious, painful and permanent injuries,” because of the surgeries, the Milford Patch reports.
Yale-New Haven Hospital told WVIT it recognizes “that an error was made.” The hospital said they have apologized to Craven and reported the incident to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.