Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Surgery Gone Awry

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Surgery Gone Awry

Article excerpt

Patients, public deserve better answers on errors

Procedures during a surgery last year at Manatee Memorial Hospital went horribly awry.

The patient's request to see her surgeon before the operation was not fulfilled.

The staff did not mark the proper site of the surgery, with the patient's acknowledgment, and improperly positioned the woman on the operating table.

The operating room team, led by the surgeon, either didn't conduct a required "time out" to discuss the procedure or it was held too soon, according to at least one member of the Florida Board of Medicine.

Then Dr. Philip Tally of Bradenton operated on the wrong side of the patient's skull, even though he had previously evaluated the North Port woman's condition and recommended surgery.

Fifteen minutes after the woman's anesthesia treatment ended, someone had her sign a consent form so Dr. Tally could perform the surgery on the appropriate side of the woman's skull.

How could this series of fundamental mistakes occur?

During a hearing last month, the Board of Medicine -- which includes 12 physicians and three "civilians" -- repeatedly asked Tally that question. And, before publication of an article about this botched procedure, Herald-Tribune reporter Donna Koehn posed similar questions to Manatee Memorial officials.

The Board of Medicine didn't think much of Tally's replies, which focused on failures in pre-op before he arrived in the operating room. We don't think much of Manatee Memorial's responses, either.

Tally declined comment to the Herald-Tribune, which published the article Sunday, and referred questions to the hospital.

Vernon DeSear, a vice president and spokesman for the hospital, wrote in an email: "Manatee Memorial Hospital is legally prohibited from disclosing any internal peer review investigations or actions pertaining to its medical staff."

In a follow-up email, reporter Koehn said she wanted to give Manatee Memorial another opportunity to explain what steps, if any, the hospital has taken to prevent similar incidents: "The hospital has investigated this matter and taken appropriate measures to guard against an incident such as this happening again," DeSear wrote. …

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