An unnamed cancer patient is suing the Salisbury District Hospital in the U.K. after an operation resulted in the amputation of his healthy testicle. According to the Salisbury Journal, the 48-year-old man is taking action against the hospital and the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust on the grounds that the medical error has left him infertile.
According to Metro U.K., doctors realized their mistake about 40 minutes into the procedure. They immediately froze the healthy testicle while a plastic surgeon was rushed in to attempt to reattach the organ. The attempt was unsuccessful and when the patient was awakened, he was informed of the mistake.
Phil Matthews, a spokesperson for the Wiltshire Involvement Network, a local patient advocacy network, said, “This is a tragic thing to have happened. With this type of operation men need confidence they can put their trust fully in the hospital.”
Huffington Post said that, while tragic, these types of medical errors are not unheard of. In 2007, a 47-year-old Air Force veteran sued the West Los Angeles Veterans’ Administration hospital for removing his right testicle rather than his atrophied, possibly cancerous left one.
Surgeons at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St. Edmunds, England made a similar mistake in 2010 with a patient who was receiving treatment for chronic infection of the epididymis, a tube that transports sperm from the testicles. Doctors took the wrong tube, which, once the infected tube was removed, left him infertile.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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