In one case, doctors removed a patient’s healthy thyroid after a laboratory mix-up led to an incorrect cancer diagnosis. In another, a neurosurgeon halted a procedure after making an incision on the wrong side of the patient’s head. In yet another, a surgeon inserted a needle into a patient’s right knee before realizing that the operation was planned for the other leg.
Those surgical misadventures are examples of the 175 errors made by hospitals and surgery centers in Pennsylvania, according to a report released Tuesday from the state’s Patient Safety Authority. The survey, the first of its kind, covered the 21/2 years that ended Dec. 31.