West Palm Beach Surgeon Fined $3,000 For Reportedly Removing Healthy Kidney
A doctor who reportedly misidentified a healthy kidney as a tumor and removed it has been fined $3,000 by the State of Florida Board of Medicine. Dr. Ramon Vasquez apparently did not recognize that the woman had a condition known as a “floating kidney”. The kidney was perfectly healthy, but had never ascended into the abdomen. While the condition is rare, it is not entirely unheard of.
Is This Effective Punishment?
In addition to the $3,000 fine, Vasquez was ordered by the medical board to get additional training concerning preoperative patient evaluation. He also lost his privileges to perform surgeries at the hospital where he reportedly made the mistake.
Some belief that the State of Florida does very little to protect its patients from careless doctors. This case begs the question: Is the State of Florida doing enough to protect Florida patients from doctors who continually make major medical errors?
Medical Malpractice is Rarely Punished
NBC Miami ran an article in 2017 that detailed in over 24,000 instances of medical malpractice, doctors only faced disciplinary actions in 128 cases. While not every case of medical malpractice warrants discipline by the State of Florida, half a percent of cases seems disturbingly low.
One of the major issues is that the medical board does not typically take any action against a doctor in a case in which the settlement was $50,000 or less. This allows many instances of malpractice to occur without any disciplinary consequence. Also, the payout is generally not an indication of the severity of the misconduct. There are many medical malpractice cases that settle for $50,000 or less.
Many believe that, with more regulatory oversight, doctors who are careless will be held accountable and forced to improve the way they practice medicine.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Misdiagnosis Attorney
The attorneys at Masterson, Hoag & Smith, P.A. in Tampa have a long history of securing successful results for patients who were victimized by medical malpractice. You may be entitled to collect damages when a doctor’s negligence causes your injuries. Give us a call or contact us online for a free case evaluation.