Personal Health

Doctor confused the spleen and the kidney – lawyer calls € 200,000 for Pain and suffering

When football play Kerim went Ucar quickly run out of breath, he often felt tired and listless, couldn’t focus in school. So it could not go further, something had to be done.

And the causes of his misery were known: Since his birth, Kerim suffers Ucar under a bullet-cell anemia. In this rare hereditary disease of the shell of the red blood cells is defective. They take on a spherical shape and are sorted from the spleen, which is always thicker, in advance. Even as a child and teenager, his mother recalls, he had to undergo several Blutransfusionen.

The disease is not curable, so Doctors often resort to a radical therapy: remove the spleen almost completely. Without the body it goes to the sick better, because the red blood cells survive longer. With nine years ‘ Kerim had been, for this reason, once the spleen is taken to 98 percent. “Then it went to him significantly better,” says his mother, Durna, Ucar.

Now, however, the institution grew. So the 18-year-old high school students again had to go under the knife. The Operation at the Klinikum Bremen-Mitte took place on may 5. October 2017. To 13.07 at upper physician doctor e. set the first cut. Two Doctors, a SURGICAL nurse and a surgical nurse certified him.

In the abdominal cavity, the surgeon, as he noted later in the minutes was “plenty of adhesions”. The doctor found it hard to identify the spleen clearly. He left the operating table and was on the phone with a colleague who before the procedure, the abdominal cavity with imaging techniques was investigated. Then doctor E. went back to Kerim, was looking for in the abdominal cavity to the spleen. As he said, he found out he cut the Organ. To 16.03 PM, after almost exactly three hours, was done the Operation.

Pathology sounds the Alarm

Then it went to the young man bad. “He had to pass, was all yellow and totally weak,” says his mother. “A doctor has reassured me. He said, although he has not been in the case of the OP, but according to the medical file, everything was good.” But the next day, Kerim’s condition did not improve. At noon, a Doctor appeared. “She did an ultrasound,” says the mother. “She seemed very excited, could not look me in the eyes. ‘Were you present in the OP?’, I asked. The Doctor nodded and then disappeared quickly.”

Because in the meantime, the pathology had sounded the Alarm. There, the Doctors should examine the body after removal. But what they got delivered to the laboratory, was not a sick spleen, but Kerim’s healthy left kidney.

In Germany there is no statistics that captures reliable treatment errors. The Physicians of the “Medical service of the Central Federal Association of German insurance”, reviewed in 2017, about 13,500 alleged treatment errors of colleagues. In almost a quarter of the cases were actually errors. Experts estimate that up to 40,000 patients are affected per year. According to a study by the Robert Koch Institute surgeons make the most errors.

Hours Durna Ucar sitting on the bed of her son. “Kerim vomited, had a stomach and headache, his skin turned yellow, he was barely responsive.” Against 16 a.m., two Doctors came, the Hospital Director and doctor e. “they led me into a room. On the way there, snap my thoughts. Have you discovered a Tumor? Kerim Has Cancer?”

The Doctors, the mother said that the bodies had been confused at the OP. The kidney was dead and could not be re-used. “I was shocked, couldn’t think right,” said Durna Ucar. “Doctor E. has apologized several times that he has confused the spleen and the kidney, but a proper explanation for his mistake, he had not.”

The mother filed a police report. Since almost one and a half years, the Prosecutor’s office in Bremen launched an investigation against doctor E. because of negligent bodily injury. In addition, the Marburger lawyer Hans-Berndt Ziegler, representing Ucar’s preparing a civil lawsuit. 200,000 euros for Pain and suffering and damages he wants to ride for his clients.

He has given an Advisory opinion of the Medical service of the health insurance companies in order to come to a clear conclusion: The likelihood of the spleen and the kidney is one of the “Never Events”, so the errors should not happen. He would have been able to be avoided by “a very careful surgical technique and a very careful anatomical orientation”.

Doctor E., now 61 years old, is an experienced surgeon. When he learned of his error, he had been “completely in shock,” recalls a colleague. Was revised in the doctor? Hardly a shift ends at the hospital without Overtime, and especially surgeons, are charged.

A doctor is justified in the public Prosecutor’s office

Through his lawyer doctor e. the public Prosecutor’s office inform that the spleen did not look any more like a spleen. Normally it is located behind the stomach, above the left kidney, in Ucar, but she had slipped behind the heart at the centre of the kidney, and have formed several thick veins. Attorney Ziegler is not convinced. “The kidney has more outputs than the spleen. Of the ureter, which was severed. If the doctor was unsure, he would have had to remember that.”

Also the two Doctors, and SURGICAL nurses appeared to have noticed nothing. Or you didn’t dare to correct the upper doctor? All refuse to make a statement, fear seems to be that you could be held accountable. A SURGICAL nurse told his hearing appointment with the police. A supervisor had advised him, with a lawyer’s vote, he said in justification. An anesthesiologist who was not in the OP, gave to Protocol, that the mood at the Station was after the discovery of the error, bad. To your question, what exactly is happening, would have to weigh the colleagues.

The fear of punishment prevented in hospitals, apparently, still an “open error culture” that wants the Federal chamber of physicians to medical errors. The clinic is paid by insurance shall not be liable in the rule. Only in the case of gross negligence or intent on the part of the doctor is liable, risking Job and prosecution. If Dr. E. has really acted with gross negligence, wants to clarify the Prosecutor’s office is now using a further opinion. It is questionable whether they will accuse the doctors at all.

“With a kidney, you can live just fine, said the Doctors at the hospital,” says Kerim’s mother. “But should he ever need a kidney, he will be put on the waiting list and hope that he gets in time.”

In fact, donor kidneys are in Germany scarce, patients must wait six to seven years on an Organ. Who comes up on the waiting list, is strictly regulated. “The mediation must take place … to the prospects of success and urgency and the principle of equality of opportunity correspond to”, – stated in the guidelines. Patients who would die without a transplant, “to be taken into account in the Organ procurement and transplantation as a priority”. It is therefore excluded that Kerim Ucar would be treated in case of emergency, preferably, because he has lost his healthy kidney by mistake to a doctor. “We can only hope that this remains his kidney healthy,” says his mother. “But with the fear of Kerim has to live now. Also with money that’s not right.”