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Botched Oklahoma Knee Surgery Highlights Crisis of Surgical Errors

Posted on Aug 18, 2009

I noticed over the weekend that an Oklahoma (OK) man has filed a lawsuit against the surgeon who mistakenly operated on and severely damaged his healthy knee.

Earlier this year, William Paul Boykin went to Bailey Medical Center to have arthroscopic surgery to repair damage in one knee. According to court filings summarized in a Tulsa World article, the surgical team either ignored or missed safeguards such as the word "YES" written on the knee requiring surgery and cut into the undamaged knee. The hospital has also been named in Boykin's suit.

It struck me that this report of surgical error is merely the latest in what appears to be a growing crisis of medical errors that often have deadly consequences. Just over a week ago, Hearst newspapers launched the website Dead By Mistake. The site details case after case in which patients were injured for life or killed by wrong site surgeries, hospital-acquired infections or inappropriately prescribed or dispensed drugs.

My colleagues and I have commented on these investigative reports. We have also spent decades representing victims of medical and surgical malpractice and negligence. This experience has taught us that while a very small number of medical or surgical mistakes may be unavoidable, none should ever go unnoticed or uncompensated.

About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the Northeast North Carolina (NC) border. Lawyers with the firm practice primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handle injury law cases, including car, truck and railroad accidents, medical negligence cases, and more. The firm’s website is Lawyers with Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan also edit the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and have compiled a video library covering many FAQs on personal injury subjects. The firm’s lawyers are licensed in VA, NC, SC, WV, DC and KY.

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