Mount Sinai Surgeon Removes Wrong Kidney in 76 Year-Old Patient

Ava Lawson | June 4th, 2013

New York Hospital MalpracticeIn a shocking case of surgical negligence, one of New York’s most esteemed teaching hospitals is under fire after one of its top surgeons removed the wrong kidney from a 76 year-old patient.  The routine kidney operation at Mount Sinai Medical Center went horribly wrong when the attending physician committed a seemingly unthinkable error. As reported by CBS New York, incidents of hospital malpractice happen more often than you might imagine, leaving patients to deal with the life-long ramifications of doctors’ mistakes.

In this particular case, the kidney patient apparently had two failed kidneys, and once the surgeon realized his error, a second surgery was performed to remove the other (correct) organ. The patient is currently stable and living on hemodialysis.

Mt. Sinai representatives apologize for hospital malpractice

“This event should never have occurred at Mount Sinai. Immediately after completing an initial investigation, we relieved the surgeon from his clinical and administrative responsibilities pending further review and investigation,” said officials from Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

It is unclear whether the kidney patient plans to pursue a lawsuit charging the center with surgical negligence, as this is an obvious case of medical malpractice. A New York malpractice attorney commented, “There’s no good excuse for removing the wrong organ. There’s no way you can say this is the normal course of doing business.”

The truth is that horrifying cases of medical malpractice and surgical mishaps occur more than 4,000 times a year, according to a recent study by Johns Hopkins. The research demonstrated that routine operations often end in disaster due to high rates of surgical negligence. Data shows that doctors operate on wrong body parts at least 20 times each week, and perform the wrong surgery on victims 20 times a week as well.

Statistics show that medical mistakes kill an estimated 195,000 Americans every year, and this recent case in New York is far from an isolated incident.  Take the story of Daryoush Mazarei, who was left with agonizing pain when surgeons at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center left behind a retractor during a chest operation. Even more disturbing, the instrument could be seen sticking out of his chest. When the patient complained to his doctors, a CT scan clearly showed the 10-inch foreign object in his body. Mazarei did what many other victims have done and filed a surgical negligence lawsuit against the hospital.

Legal recourse for medical malpractice victims

Patients entrust their lives to health care professionals and expect doctors and surgeons to uphold certain standards of care. When this duty is breached, and the treatment provided is substandard in any way, resulting in the injury or death of a patient, this may be grounds for a surgical negligence lawsuit. Suing hospitals or physicians for their medical mistakes and negligent actions is becoming more common, as patients and their loved ones must find ways to relieve the financial burdens brought on by serious health problems.

If you or someone you care about has been seriously harmed in a medical setting, whether a hospital or medical clinic, contact The Sanders Firm today to learn about your options for seeking compensation. We offer clients a free, no-obligation consultation. Call toll-free 1.800.FAIR.PLAY.


  1. CBS Local, Wrong Kidney Removed From Patient At Mount Sinai Medical Center, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/05/10/wrong-kidney-removed-from-patient-at-mount-sinai-medical-center/