Twin Cities surgeon operated on wrong finger
January 29, 2016
The California Department of Public Health fined Templeton’s Twin Cities Community Hospital $50,000 over a botched surgery. A surgeon operated on a patient’s pinky when it was the ring finger that was deformed.
State health official fine hospitals for placing patients in jeopardy of serious injury of death. On Thursday, the Department of Public Health announced fines on a total of eight hospitals.
The botched surgery at Twin Cities hospital occurred on Nov. 5, 2013, according to a state report. The report does not identify the surgeon or the patient.
Medical records state the patient had tendon damage in the ring finger. The tendon damage made the person unable to straighten the finger and was the reason for the operation.
Records from the patient’s prior visits to the hospital indicated the operation was going to occur on the left ring finger. But, the surgical instructions on the day of the operation did not specify the finger.
Before beginning the operation, the surgeon marked the patient’s left hand, rather than the finger with the deformity. Also, the patient signed a consent form that stated doctors would operate on the deformed finger on the left hand.
The consent form did not specify the finger. Both the marking of the hand and the improper consent form violated hospital policy, according to the state report.
Just before the start of the surgery, the operating team conducted a “time out.” During the time out, the team was supposed to confirm essential information, like the identity of the patient and the location of the surgery.
The surgeon did not confirm the proper location of the surgery, also a violation of hospital policy, the Department of Public Health report states. The surgeon then operated on the patient’s left pinky.
A Department of Public Health news release states the fine Twin Cities received was the hospital’s first penalty for placing a patient in immediate jeopardy.