“Measure twice and cut once,” is an ancient proverb. It can save a carpenter or tailor time and valuable materials. However, when it comes to surgery, it can prevent an unnecessary surgery or save a life. A doctor in Liverpool is under fire after failing to double-check that he was cutting the right patient. As a result, the doctor gave the wrong man a vasectomy.
Nanikram Vaswani, of Broadgreen Hospital, gave the wrong patient the medical procedure that makes men sterile. Instead of removing scar tissue on a patient, he gave the unnamed man a vasectomy. Instead of taking responsibility for his mistake, the doctor blamed others for cutting into the wrong patient. He blamed his error on other hospital workers for bringing out patients in the wrong order.
A number of other vasectomies and a circumcision were scheduled for the day. The doctor decided to do all the vasectomies first and partially blamed his mistake on patients who were complaining that they were waiting too long.
Dr. Vaswani and nurse Rosemary Tollitt apparently both failed to check the patient’s name or identity. They both also failed to check the patient’s signed consent form and did not follow surgical checklists. It was only after the procedure was completed that Dr. Vaswani apparently realized he’d given the wrong operation to the wrong patient.
To make matters worse, Dr. Vaswani also failed to report the mistake to a urologist consultant and failed to report the medical error to hospital officials. Dr. Vaswani admitted his mistake to the patient; however, he did not keep a record of these discussions in the medical records. Dr. Vaswani tried to reverse the vasectomy, although he later admitted that he had not performed such a procedure in 5 years or more. The medical board determined a reversal by Dr. Vaswani would be inappropriate.
A vasectomy is a semi-permanent method of birth control for men. During the procedure, a doctor generally makes one or two small cuts into the scrotum. The vas deferens are then clamped and cut. The ends are tied, stitched, or otherwise sealed. This prevents sperm from combining with semen. As a result, no sperm is released when a man ejaculates.
Dr. Vaswani could have lost his license to practice. However, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service only gave him a warning, finding he could continue to practice medicine. The panel cited the doctor’s good character, and genuine remorse, finding this was an isolated incident that was unlikely to recur. Meanwhile, the patient is left physically and emotionally scarred after the event.
If you or someone you love was injured as the result of a medical mistake, the Gilman & Bedigian team is here to help. We are fully equipped to handle the complex process of bringing a medical malpractice claim on your behalf. Negligent doctors and nurses should be held accountable for making dangerous mistakes. Our staff, including a physician and attorneys with decades of malpractice litigation experience, will focus on getting your family compensation, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.
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