Maureen Pacheco's Doctor Ramon Vazquez Didn't See MRI Showing Healthy Kidney Lower than Normal - thinking it was a tumor removed it! Lawsuit paid $500k
11-6-18, WELLINGTON, FLA – Thanks to a serious surgical mistake, 51 yr old Maureen Pacheco is left without one of her fully functioning kidneys. In April 2016 she checked into Wellington Regional Medical Center to get the bones in her lower back fused in the wake of a car accident, [Palm Beach Post]. This is a fairly common operation on the spine. Difficulties were not expected. However, when Dr. Ramon Vazquez made the incision from the front of her body, he spotted an organ [healthy kidney] — which he believed to be a tumor, declared an emergency and removed it.
A month after the surgery, the center’s pathologist found that the removed "tumor" was a healthy kidney that had fallen into the pelvic cavity (pelvic dystopia of the kidney). Dr Vasquez claims he was never informed that there was an MRI showing the kidney's lower position.
According to her lawsuit, Ms Pacheco will be on disability for the rest of her life - she was awarded $500,000.
Commenting on the grave error, the National Kidney Foundation reported that although most people live a healthy life with just one kidney, long term problems such as high blood pressure and a loss in kidney function may occur. More here
Not first time this has happened: In 2016 two more patients had their kidneys removed in error:
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