Wrong-site surgery by Iowa physician

A 49-year-old-Iowa-licensed physician practicing in the area of orthopedic surgery out of Davenport entered into a settlement agreement with the Iowa Board of Medicine. According to the IBM’s press release the physician inadvertently performed surgery on a patient’s left ankle rather than the right ankle. To the doctor’s credit he realized his mistake, informed the patient and their family after completing the unauthorized surgery. The doctor was fined a $2,500 civil penalty.

So, in general, why or how does this happen?

It could be several reasons although none are a good excuse.

  1. In a rush or working too much.
  2. Didn’t read the chart.
  3. Failed to use the time-out procedure.
  4. No one marked the surgical site.
  5. The surgeon fails to confirm the surgical site with the patient prior to starting.
  6. The surgical team failed to point out the doctor’s error.
  7. The surgical team including the doctor, did all of the above.
  8. Substance abuse could be an issue as well. 

See what we have written about wrong-site surgeries. Link

Contact Steve if you would like to discuss your wrong-site surgery; he's handled several over the past thirty plus years. Or if you are a physician and need assistance with your Iowa Board of Medicine citation we can help you. 

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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