Woman sues Vanderbilt medical center for $25 million, claims doctors operated on wrong kidney

Woman sues Vanderbilt medical center for $25 million, claims doctors operated on wrong kidney

A woman sued Vanderbilt University Medical Center for $25 million on Tuesday, alleging that doctors operated on her wrong kidney during surgery.

The Tennessean reported that Carla Miller claimed in a lawsuit that doctors mistakenly implanted a small mesh tube from her right kidney through the wrong half of her body during a surgery in November 2017. The tube was supposed to extend from her left kidney to her bladder, according to the lawsuit.


Because of the alleged mistake, Miller's attorney Afsoon Hagh said her urinary system was permanently damaged, requiring her to undergo dialysis for the rest of her life. Miller will also need to have a second surgery to place the tube on the correct side of her body, the lawsuit states, according to the Tennessean.

Miller's lawsuit is seeking more than $25 million in damages from Vanderbilt and does not specifically identify the doctor who conducted the operation. 

The news outlet reported that Miller’s botched operation is classified as a "wrong-site surgery" and is a rare occurrence.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers wrong-site surgeries to be "never events" and say they are often associated with "serious underlying safety problems” at hospitals.

Miller’s alleged wrong-site surgery is the third serious medical incident that is said to have took place at the medical center between April and December 2017, according to the Tennessean. 

A separate lawsuit last month alleged that a patient at the medical center died after an unsupervised resident mishandled a routine procedure of placing a central line in her throat. Earlier this year, a former nurse was criminally indicted for allegedly giving a patient a fatal dose of a paralyzing drug, which is also used to execute patients on death row.

All three mishaps became public in recent months, the paper reported.

The Hill has reached out to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center for comment.