Next time you sign up for surgery, make sure your doctor doesn’t go by the name Lawal Haruna—he might accidentally remove the wrong organs from your body.
One of his female victims, only referred to as “Patient B,” went under the knife to have her appendix removed.
By the time she awoke from anesthesia, however, she was missing an ovary—and the aching appendix was still causing her massive pain.
“[Fallopian tubes are] similar worm-like structures which lie in a similar area [as the appendix],” said Dr. Haruna in his own defense, calling his medical malpractice “trifling errors.”
But Patient B wasn’t the only victim. Another woman visited Haruna to have a cyst removed, but ended up losing a skin tag instead.
And yet another patient went to see Dr. Haruna acute appendicitis, only to have him remove a pad of fat instead.
According to one report by investigators:
Dr Haruna was mistaken in his identification of the appendix and removed the ovary and tube in error. This is a serious omission and a breach of duty of care.
To have mistaken a fat pad for the appendix and to have failed to deal adequately with the pathology suggests a standard of care which is seriously below that expected of a reasonably competent Staff Grade in General Surgery.
Haruna who claims to have 25 years experience later dismissed the incidents as ‘trifling errors’ and said the appendix and fallopian tubes were similar ‘worm-like structures which lie in a similar area.
After a hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, the board found Dr. Haruna guilty and banned him from practicing.
“Whilst you have apologized to the patients in question,” said Chairman Clare Sharp, “you showed a lack of empathy for the, as well as for the serious consequences of your failings.”
Clare added, “You were asked to put yourself into your patients’ shoes, and to consider how you actions made them feel.”
“Patient B was in pain for a month after your operation,” she continued, “and had to undergo a further operation to remove his appendix after you failed to do so the first time. Had Patient B been of child-bearing age, your removal of a fallopian tube and ovary could have been incredibly serious and potentially life-changing for her, but you showed no recognition of these potential consequences.”
“The Tribunal did not believe that your misconduct was deliberate, but it concluded that there was a continuing risk to patients.”
Between 2013 and 2015, Dr. Haruna worked for the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, an organization that manages 6 hospitals.
The surgeon chalked his errors up to “poor vision” and said it was “harsh” to ban him from the practice.
“I want to apologize to all the patients,” said Haruna, “I didn’t experience operative difficulties, in removing whatever I removed. Everything had gone along fine and it was not difficult to remove.”
“It was only later I realized it was not the appropriate part. The operation itself, the technicality, was fine but the wrong specimen was removed.”
I have performed hundreds of appendicectomies, this was due to lapse of judgement.”
However, according to one witness with experience in the field, Dr. Michael Zeigerman, “If you feel you are not capable for any reason then you should not perform the procedure…A never event is something that should never, ever happen. It’s so serious that Jeremy Hunt himself has every single one of them written in his office—and we have three of them here.”