Riverside Doctor Removes Wrong Kidney

Man left with no kidneys after hospital botches surgery

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    A Riverside hospital removes man's healthy kidney by mistake.

    California Department of Public Health said a Riverside hospital violated safety regulations when it removed a man's healthy kidney instead of a diseased one.

    The Riverside Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center botched a surgery and is sited by the Health Department for errors leading up to the surgery, including failing to follow safety protocol and failing to communicate accurately with the Spanish-speaking patient, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

    The hospital staff also directed the patient to sign a form giving the hospital his permission to remove the wrong kidney, according to Al Lundeen, a spokesman for the Health Department.

    The doctor also did not have privileges from Parkview for the removal of the kidneys, the state found in its investigation.

    After catching the mistake, the hospital removed the man's diseased kidney, as well, leaving him with no kidneys. The patient was not identified by the state.

    But the Press-Enterprise found court records of a lawsuit filed by a man named Francisco Torres, of Riverside, against Parkview Community and Dr. H. Erik Wahlstrom of Redlands. That surgery occurred July 14, and the hospital reported the botched operation July 15.

    If the department penalizes the hospital, it could face fines of $50,000 for the first violation, $75,000 for the second violation and $100,000 for the third violation taking place in 2009.

    Wahlstrom has been a licensed physician and surgeon for 18 years and has one malpractice arbitration award on his record, according to Medical Board of California records.