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Wrong Side Kidney Surgery Leads to Court Case – Riverside, California

Posted Sep 11 2009 10:22pm

It still keeps happening and making the news.  According to the story, the chart was clearly marked that it was the left and the right kidney was the one to be removed.  This brings back the question once more of the “time out” and if that procedure was followed.  The doctor named also performs kidney transplants as a former malpractice suit indicated. 

Now he had to endure dialysis the rest of his life as surgery was required on the other kidney a month after the botched surgery.  BD 

RIVERSIDE -- A man is suing a Riverside hospital claiming the surgeon removed his healthy kidney instead of his diseased one, leaving him image to endure dialysis treatments every three days.
Francisco Torres, 72, underwent surgery at Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center on July 14 and was supposed to have his left kidney removed, according to the lawsuit filed last Friday in Riverside County Superior Court.

The kidney was being removed because doctors discovered what was thought to be a cancerous mass, according to Torres' attorney Shirley Watkins. 
Instead of removing the diseased organ, his surgeon, Dr. H. Erik Wahlstrom, removed Torre's healthy right kidney before realizing his mistake, Watkins said.

Watkins said Torres' chart was absolutely clear that it was his left kidney that was infected. According to medical records supplied by Watkins, a hospital nurse and Dr. Wahlstrom both wrote notes in Torres' chart the day before surgery, indicating that his right kidney was to be removed.
Torres, who does not speak or read English, says he didn't know which kidney was to be removed, but that he trusted the hospital. image

According to records from the Medical Board of California, Dr. Wahlstrom settled a previous malpractice lawsuit for nearly $2 million after a 2005 kidney transplant he performed became infected, requiring its removal.
Torres' lawsuit accuses the hospital and Dr. Wahlstrom of malpractice, battery and failure to disclose the doctor's record with the Medical Board of California.

Man Claims Hospital Removed Wrong Kidney

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