If it can happen to a medical student … it can happen to anyone.
Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) September 26, 2011
Nadege Neim, a 28-year-old medical student, had her entire life in front of her. She had a bright future as a doctor, a loving husband, and was starting a family. Nothing could go wrong, she said. But her life was turned upside down when wrong site surgery impacted her ability to conceive in the future, according to Andrew G. Slutkin (case number 24-C-11-006058 filed in Baltimore, Maryland).
“If it can happen to a medical student … it can happen to anyone,” said Mrs. Neim’s attorney, Andrew G. Slutkin of the law firm of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White. “It’s every woman’s worst nightmare.”
Ensuring that an X-ray isn’t flipped and that the right patient is on the table, for example, can often prevent mistakes such as amputating the wrong leg, performing the wrong operation or removing a kidney from the wrong patient. Such errors are considered so egregious and avoidable that they are classified as never events because they should never happen, said Mr. Slutkin.
But it does, and The Joint Commission, a group that accredits hospitals nationwide, estimates that wrong-site surgery occurs 40 times a week in U.S. hospitals and clinics.
In June of 2009, Mrs. Neim, who was pregnant at the time, went to see her doctor, Dr. Maureen Muoneke, a Columbia, Maryland OB/GYN, to have an ultrasound performed.
The results of the ultrasound revealed that Mrs. Neim had an ovarian mass on her left side. Dr. Muoneke advised her that it was probably benign, but it could grow or rupture to become malignant.
On September 10, 2009, Mrs. Neim went in for another ultrasound. The results revealed that, although her right side was fine, the cyst on her left ovary had not healed. Dr. Muoneke recommended that Mrs. Neim have the left ovarian cyst removed to prevent further complications with the pregnancy.
On September 22, 2009, Mrs. Neim was admitted to St. Agnes Hospital in Maryland to have her left ovarian cyst removed. However unbeknownst to Mrs. Neim, Dr. Muoneke not only failed to remove the cyst, but also instead removed her entire right ovary and fallopian tube.
Mrs. Neim returned on October 14 for a post-surgery check-up, and complained of pelvic pain on her right side. Dr. Muoneke reviewed the pathology report with Mrs. Neim; however, she failed to inform her that she had removed the wrong ovary, as well as her right fallopian tube.
In the next few days, Mrs. Neim continued to have extreme right-side pelvic pain, and Dr. Muoneke had still not informed her that she removed the wrong ovary.
Mrs. Neim, unable to endure the pain any longer, went to the Howard County General Hospital Emergency Department. It was there where she learned that Dr. Muoneke not only failed to remove the cyst but also had removed her right ovary and fallopian tube.
Mrs. Neim’s new gynecologist has documented that Dr. Muoneke’s surgery was “overly aggressive in removing the entire tube and ovary.”
“I feel so violated,” said Mrs. Neim. “I can’t believe my doctor did this to my family and my future. It’s doubly painful because when she figured it out she didn’t tell me and just left me in pain.”
Slutkin says contrary to what people think, the legal system typically offers little recourse: One study found that only a third of wrong-site cases result in a malpractice suit.
The reason to sue is not only to recover Mrs. Neim’s losses but to put the medical community on notice so when our loved ones go in for surgery, we know they will be safe,” said Mr. Slutkin.
To schedule an immediate interview with Mrs. Neim and her husband, and Mr. Slutkin. Please contact Karen McGagh, 443.632.4217
About Andrew Slutkin
Andrew Slutkin, a partner with Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White focusing on medical malpractice and other catastrophic injury cases and an adjunct professor at the University Of Baltimore School of Law teaching students about medical malpractice
About Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White
Maryland based law firm Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White, an AV rated law firm by Martindale-Hubbell, is widely regarded as one of the premier litigation firms in the mid-Atlantic region. They have achieved extraordinary success for their clients across Maryland and throughout the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.mdattorney.com.