Albert Hubbard Jr. is suing Dr. Ankur M. Parikh of UMass Memorial Medical Center after the doctor removed his kidney by mistake. It turns out, the doctor read the wrong patient’s chart prior to performing the unnecessary surgery.
How would you feel if you went in for a scheduled surgery to have your tonsils removed, only to later learn that some other part of your body was removed instead? Sounds pretty horrifying, right? Unfortunately, this is what happened to one Massachusetts patient, Albert Hubbard Jr. According to Hubbard, he visited Dr. Ankur M. Parikh at UMass Memorial Medical Center over concerns he had about blood in his urine. Parikh ordered a stomach and pelvis scan and later informed Hubbard that he had a large tumor on his kidney that had to be removed.
When commenting on the matter, Hubbard said the doctor said he “had to take it out right away. He said I probably had three to five years to live. I walked home and I can still relive every single step. It shattered me.” Twelve days later at St. Vincent Hospital, Hubbard went under the knife and had the organ removed. That’s when a huge error was discovered. It turns out, Hubbard’s kidney was perfectly healthy and never had a tumor on it. It was all a mistake. Parikh had read the wrong patient’s chart and now Hubbard was left without a kidney for no reason. How did such a mistake occur, though?
The incident happened in July 2016 when Parikh confused Hubbard’s “CT scan results with those of another patient, who was 70 years old.” Hubbard was 65-years-old at the time of the incident. Apparently, both Hubbard and the other patient had “received the exact same stomach and pelvis scan on the exact same day.”
When Parikh realized his mistake, he approached Hubbard, who was recovering from just having his kidney unnecessarily removed, and said, “There’s been a really bad mistake. We took out your kidney by accident.”
When speaking on the incident to reporters, Hubbard said, “It almost felt like a dream, except that it wasn’t.” He added that after informing him of the blunder, Parikh said, “I could have not told you.”
As a result of the incident, Hubbard filed a lawsuit against the doctor, which is pending at the moment. Other defendants named in the suit include “St. Vincent Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Group, Wayne Glazier P.C. Urology, of which Parikh is a member, and other medical staff involved.”
Since the incident, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine has reprimanded Parikh. Additionally, the state “determined that he failed to verify Hubbard’s date of birth, did not review the CT scan on the day of the procedure and elected to remove the organ, even though it was much lighter than a kidney with a large tumor would normally be.”
While commenting on his client’s pending lawsuit and Parikh’s reprimand, attorney Jeffrey S. Raphaelson said “both sides are still in discovery, or gathering information, for the lawsuit.” He added that the “institutions named in the suit continue to deny responsibility for what happened,” and said, “In our view, this was a systemic problem.” Raphaelson further noted that the doctor’s reprimand is “fairly standard for a doctor with no previous infractions who wrongly removed an organ.”