A surgical team at Park Nicollet Heath Services in Minnesota removed the healthy kidney from a patient last week, and left behind the possibly cancerous kidney. We were going to make a dumb joke about this is why you should draw a giant X over your good body parts with a Sharpie marker before a surgery, but the mistake was made in the patient’s medical chart weeks before—the surgical team followed all proper procedures.
The error occurred in diagnosis before the surgery took place. The surgery staff followed all appropriate safety protocols, including marking the surgical site and pausing before surgery to confirm the final details.
Unfortunately, the side of the affected kidney was incorrectly identified in the medical chart several weeks before the surgery took place.