Patient left with serious disabilities after wrong-site surgery

Wrong-site brain surgery left a Missouri woman unable to speak intelligibly and in need of around-the-clock care, according to a complaint filed in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County in Clayton, MO.

Patient Regina Turner, 53, of St. Ann, MO, received a right-sided craniotomy bypass instead of the scheduled left-sided procedure at St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, MO, the hospital has confirmed. Once the operating team realized they had made an error, a second surgery was performed six days later on the correct side, according to Turner’s attorney Alvin Wolff Jr., JD, of Clayton.

“Before the incorrect surgery, plaintiff was mobile, cognizant and able to care for herself,” the suit alleges. “After the incorrect surgery, plaintiff requires around-the-clock care for her basic needs. ... Plaintiff will also continue to suffer from emotional distress, anxiety, disfigurement and depression.”

Wolff says the woman worked as a supervisor for an Internet service provider and later as a paralegal, but five years ago she began suffering a series of mini-strokes. Her speaking ability already was degraded before the wrong-site surgery, but she could be understood by family members.

The craniotomy bypass surgery was intended to prevent future strokes, but the woman is now in significantly worse condition than before her surgery, Wolff says.