Carroll hospital sued in alleged malpractice Woman says her daughter was operated for hernia on the wrong side

April 05, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Westminster mother is suing Carroll County General Hospital and a Westminster surgeon, alleging last year's hernia surgery on her daughter's right side was the wrong side.

According to the civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Carroll County Circuit Court, the girl was diagnosed by the Carroll County Health Department and the hospital's emergency room staff in 1993 with a hernia on her left side.

The child was monitored until February 1995, when the mother said she was told that surgery should be performed to correct the condition and she was referred to Dr. John E. Steers, the Westminster surgeon named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Gill Chamblin, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said confidentiality laws preclude the hospital from making any comments about specific patients. "We also would have no comment on any pending litigation," she said.

Contacted at his Westminster office yesterday, Dr. Steers said, "I cannot comment."

The lawsuit also contends the girl was examined Feb. 20, 1995, by hospital staff members who confirmed a left-side hernia five days before Dr. Steers examined her.

The lawsuit contends that he incorrectly decided she had a right-side hernia and performed the surgery.

Paul J. Weber, an Annapolis attorney representing the mother and child, said the mother realized the mistake as soon as she saw the operation had been performed on her daughter's right side.

The lawsuit also contends that during the child's surgery, the defendants found no evidence of a hernia on her right side and that neither the doctor nor any hospital staff member mentioned a left-side hernia.

On March 15, 1995, another surgeon repaired a large hernia on the girl's left side at Sinai Hospital, the lawsuit contends.

The mother is seeking more than $20,000 on each of two counts.

The first count asks for compensatory damages on behalf of the minor child, alleging that negligence by defendants for performing the wrong-side surgery has caused, or will cause, pain, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional trauma.

The second count asks for compensatory damages on behalf of the mother.

Pub Date: 4/05/96

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