A patient from the country reports negligence in a Catalan hospital

The woman was supposed to have surgery on the first right rib but ended up having surgery on the second, according to the complaint filed

An Andorran patient has filed a complaint against the thoracic surgeon who operated on her and against the hospital where she works, the Corachán Clinic in Barcelona, ​​for an alleged crime of serious professional negligence. The events that give rise to the complaint occurred on March 8 of last year, when the woman entered the operating room to undergo an operation to solve a syndrome called thoracic outlet, caused by the compression of nerves and blood vessels and which causes, among other symptoms, pain in the shoulders and tingling and numbness in the arms.

The surgical operation consisted of an intervention on the first right rib. But the statement of facts of the complaint to which the newspaper has had access maintains that the operation was performed on the second right rib and not on the first. The consequence, is alleged in the complaint, is that the surgeon operated on a rib that he did not touch, causing damage in an area that did not present any complications and without solving the patient’s medical problems. The complaint argues that it is a case of medical malpractice extending to the clinic where the operation took place.

In fact, the patient’s discharge sheet – five days after the operation – that the lawyers handling the case, Pablo Juanico and Lázaro Lúcio, attach to the criminal complaint indicates, referring to the surgical and therapeutic procedures that the dissection and exposure of what “seems to be the first rib” has been carried out to continue showing that a partial section of the second rib can be seen in the X-ray taken the day after the operation. On March 12, the patient was discharged without the pathology being treated. THE LAW

Before filing the lawsuit, last May, the patient’s legal representation addressed the doctor and the clinic via burofax, explaining the problem and urging them to communicate if they wanted to repair the damage. In August, in the face of the surgeon’s silence, a new burofax was sent to him, which he also did not answer.

The complaint was finally filed in September in the Barcelona Magistrates’ Courts and, in October, the magistrate in charge of number 30 admitted it to proceedings in a letter in which she ordered the diligence to apply to the Barcelona hospital all the documentation related to the surgical operation performed. As reported by one of the lawyers who represent the patient, a first witness statement has already been held in which the affected person and the surgeon have stated that they admitted the error.

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The injured party lamented yesterday that a year later, when she should have been operated on twice, to solve the ailment that affects her two arms, she cannot carry out everyday activities such as washing her head. In addition to the physical pain, he lamented the psychological effects, which have caused him to fear going back into the operating room and the need for medication.

And it is that he reported that in the visit after the operation, the reported surgeon assured him that “everything had gone well” when the following day the x-ray reflected the mistake. He also assured that at no time did the professional offer him the possibility of solving it.

The complaint highlights that the surgeon had the duty to know exactly the area where the operation was to be performed and that he failed in the “most basic standards of care and medical behavior”. He also points out that there was sufficient medical evidence to identify the area where intervention had to be done.

For all of this, he is charged with the alleged crime of injuries due to serious professional imprudence, which, the letter recalls, is associated with the penalty of disqualification. Regarding the role of the clinic, it is considered directly civilly responsible. Regarding the financial claim, the lawyers indicated that they are still waiting for expert evidence to define it, but that for now the damages caused to the affected party have been quantified at 200,000 euros.

1. Operation to treat a pathology The patient entered the operating room to solve the thoracic outlet syndrome she was suffering from, which causes pain, tingling and numbness in the arms.

2. Error in the rib to be operated on The operation was on the first right rib, but the complaint indicates that the operation was performed on the second and that this was reflected in the subsequent radiograph.

3. Unwillingness to repair the damage suffered The woman was discharged without further ado and now reports not only that the pathology persists, but that she also suffers from psychological sequelae.

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