Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City is considered among the most excellent and renowned medical facilities in the United States. Having an excellent name, however, has never prevented mistakes from happening. This has proved true once again as a Mount Sinai Medical Center surgeon removed the wrong kidney from his patient. NBC News New York reported on the story, saying that the patient was a 76 year old man who had two diseased kidneys and that the second kidney was also subsequently removed. Because this patient had two bad kidneys the medical error may not have actually caused further harm to this patient. However, the surgeon was fired because these types of medical mistakes almost always cause serious injury and sometimes death and cannot be tolerated.
In July 2008 a Minneapolis hospital reported a medical mistake involving a cancer patient who suffered a similar fate when a surgeon there removed the wrong kidney. The Minneapolis surgeon said that he had been distracted because of beeper calls and other patients. In an Ohio hospital in 2012 a kidney intended for transplant was accidentally thrown away causing the entire transplant program at the hospital to be suspended.
Preventable Medical Mistakes Should Never Occur
These types of serious medical errors are known as "never events." According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services the term "never event" was coined in 2001 by Dr. Ken Kizer to refer to serious medical errors that should never occur such as wrong site surgery. Since then the list of serious preventable medical mistakes, or "never events", has been extended to cover additional medical mistakes that caused serious disability and death.
Even though the medical community says that these types of preventable medical mistakes are rare, it is estimated that they occur as many as 80 times a week according to American Medical News. Considering the thousands of medical procedures and surgeries that occur though out the country every day, may be 80 times a week can be called rare statistically, but it's not rare for the person who has it happen to them.