1- Joan Morris (a pseudonym) is a 67-year-old woman admitted to a teaching hospital for cerebral angiography. The day after that procedure, she mistakenly underwent an invasive cardiac electrophysiology study. After angiography, the patient was transferred to another floor rather than returning to her original bed. Discharge was planned for the following day. The next morning, however, the patient was taken for a open heart procedure. The patient had been on the operating table for an hour. Doctors had made an incision in her groin, punctured an artery, threaded in a tube and snaked it up into her heart (a procedure with risks of bleeding, infection, heart attack and stroke). That was when the phone rang and a doctor from another department asked “what are you doing with my patient?” There was nothing wrong with her heart. The cardiologist working on the woman checked her chart, and saw that he was making an awful mistake. The study was aborted, and she was returned to her room in stable condition. ----------------------------- 2- In what was, perhaps, the most publicized case of a surgical mistake in its time, a Tampa (Florida) surgeon mistakenly removed the wrong leg of his patient, 52-year-old Willie King, during an amputation procedure in February 1995. It was later revealed that a chain of errors before the surgery culminated in the wrong leg being prepped for the procedure. While the surgeon's team realized in the middle of the procedure that they were operating on the wrong leg, it was already too late, and the leg was removed. As a result of the error, the surgeon's medical license was suspended for six months and he was fined $10,000. University Community Hospital in Tampa, the medical center where the surgery took place, paid $900,000 to King and the surgeon involved in the case paid an additional $250,000 to King. ----------------------------- 3- In St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a patient was submitted at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital to have one of his kidneys removed because it had a tumor believed to be cancerous. Instead, doctors removed the healthy one. "The discovery that this was the wrong kidney was made the next day when the pathologist examined the material and found no evidence of any malignancy," said Samuel Carlson, M.D. and Park Nicollet Chief Medical Officer. The potentially cancerous kidney remained intact and functioning. For privacy and family's request, no details about the patient were released. ----------------------------- 4- A West Virginia man's family claims inadequate anesthetic during surgery allowed him to feel every slice of the surgeon's scalpel - a trauma they believe led him to take his own life two weeks later. Sherman Sizemore was admitted to Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, W.Va., Jan. 19, 2006 for exploratory surgery to determine the cause of his abdominal pain. But during the operation, he reportedly experienced a phenomenon known as anesthetic awareness -- a state in which a surgical patient is able to feel pain, pressure or discomfort during an operation, but is unable to move or communicate with doctors. According to the complaint, anesthesiologists administered the drugs to numb the patient, but they failed to give him the general anesthetic that would render him unconscious until 16 minutes after surgeons first cut into his abdomen. Family members say the 73-year-old Baptist minister was driven to kill himself by the traumatic experience of being awake during surgery but unable to move or cry out in pain. ----------------------------- 5- When Nancy Andrews, of Commack, N.Y., became pregnant after an in vitro fertilization procedure at a New York fertility clinic, she and her husband expected a new addition to their family. What they did not expect was a child whose skin was significantly darker than that of either parent. Subsequent DNA tests suggested that doctors at New York Medical Services for Reproductive Medicine accidentally used another man's sperm to inseminate Nancy Andrews' eggs. The couple has since raised Baby Jessica, who was born Oct. 19, 2004, as their own, according to wire reports. But the couple still filed a malpractice suit against the owner of the clinic, as well as the embryologist who allegedly mixed up the samples.