An Illinois doctor has been disciplined for removing the wrong organ from a patient during surgery, but the disciplinary action comes nearly ten years after the incident.
According to news reports, in 2005, a Peoria physician accidentally removed a woman’s healthy kidney when he was supposed to extract part of her spleen. The woman suffered from a blood-clotting disorder, and she had had part of her spleen removed previously as part of her treatment. The 2005 operation was to remove a further remnant of her spleen after her condition deteriorated. However, the surgeon removed her kidney instead. The woman filed a lawsuit claiming medical malpractice in 2007, and the case settled for $2 million in 2013.
In spite of the lawsuit and settlement, no action was taken to discipline the doctor until September 24, 2014. The doctor was reprimanded and will pay a $2,500 fine for his mistake. Both actions are listed under the doctor’s profile on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website.
A civil lawsuit for medical malpractice does not automatically result in a physician’s discipline. A patient must file a formal complaint, and if the agency investigates the complaint and finds it to be accurate, disciplinary action is taken.