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Medicine

Five medical blunders as bad as the rapping, dancing surgeon

From left behind tools to removing the wrong body parts to walking out in the middle of an operation; here are some gruesome examples of medical malpractice and mishaps

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 June, 2018, 3:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 June, 2018, 3:40pm

Having any surgical procedure is no laughing matter, but when the doctor involved isn’t up to scratch it can only end in tears.

This was the case for Icilma Cornelius who was weeks away from her wedding in 2016 when she visited cosmetic surgeon Windell Davis Boutte’s practice in Atlanta, Georgia in the US, to have some minor surgery done.

But due to alleged malpractice during the surgery Cornelius suffered “a severe and debilitating catastrophic brain injury,” and today relies on a feeding tube and round-the-clock care.

To make matters worse, The Washington Post reports that in the subsequent lawsuit against Dr Boutte, details emerged of about two dozen videos filmed and posted to the clinic’s YouTube channel, which showed the doctor dancing, rapping and gesturing over her patients’ naked bodies, apparently during their procedures.

Here are five other examples of shoddy work by the medical profession.

Surgeons leave 16 items in German cancer patient’s body

German media reported that surgeons left 16 medical items in a cancer patient’s body during an operation in 2009. Dirk Schroeder reportedly had successful routine surgery for prostate cancer only to suffer “appalling agony” after it.

According to the German-language newspaper Bild, surgeons operated on Schroeder once again and were shocked to find 16 pieces of medical equipment in his body. The Daily Mail reported that the items included “a needle, a six-inch roll of bandage, a six-inch long compress, several swabs and a fragment of surgical mask.”

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Cancer patient has wrong testicle removed

Bungling surgeons in Salisbury, in Britain, removed the wrong testicle during a male patient’s cancer operation in 2013, the Salisbury Journal reported. Instead of a cancerous testicle being taken out, the healthy one was removed.

After the doctor realised the blunder, the removed testicle was frozen while a plastic surgeon dashed to the scene and tried to reattach it, British media reported. However, the emergency surgery did not work.

Body builder mistakenly given breast implants

Alexander Baez was a body builder, former Mr Mexico and runner-up in Mr Universe who had pectoral enhancement surgery in 1999 in Miami, Florida. At least he thought he had, until he came round from the anaesthetic to find that he had wrongly been given women’s breast implants (C-cups), The New York Times reported.

It transpired that the man who had carried out the operation wasn’t even a qualified doctor. Reinaldo Silvestre, who did the procedure, only posed as a doctor and had no legitimate medical credentials. Silvestre had forged documents and had also operated on at least two women in Florida, using kitchen utensils.

Footballer’s wife dies after bungled liposuction

Denise Hendry, the wife of former Scottish football captain Colin Hendry, received nine punctures to her bowel during a liposuction procedure at a private hospital in Lancashire in 2002. British media reported that she had a number of operations to repair the damage but never fully recovered and died aged 43 in July 2009.

An inquest heard that NHS doctors who treated her following the botched procedure were “disgusted” by what they found.

Doctor leaves patient mid-operation to do surgery at another hospital

Dr Kelvin Ng Kwok-chai was embroiled in controversy after he rushed to a private hospital to perform a scheduled procedure on October 13 last year, midway through a liver transplant at Hong Kong’s Queen Mary Hospital.

The patient at the public hospital, also a teaching hospital under HKU, was left in the operating theatre for three hours before Ng returned to finish the job. The donor’s liver reached the hospital about five minutes after Ng left. Luckily, the recipient was stable after the belated surgery.