Woman Says University of Colorado Hospital Removed Healthy Kidneys

By Zachary Stieber

A 73-year-old woman has accused the University of Colorado hospital of removing both of her kidneys, even though they were healthy.

Linda Woolley said the hospital thought she had kidney cancer but later admitted she didn’t afterall.

According to a biopsy obtained by Fox 31 the procedure showed “no evidence of malignancy,” suggesting either some records have been mixed up or a serious medical error took place.

“A big mistake, big mistake,” Woolley said.

A second biopsy on the kidneys after they were removed again found no evidence of cancer.

Now Woolley is stuck on dialysis and needs at least one new kidney. The average wait time for a kidney transplant in the United States is currently seven years.

A hospital spokeswoman told Fox 31: “I don’t have any information for you about this.” Woolley has hired an attorney and may sue the hospital. She said, “I feel like they owe me a kidney, that’s for sure.”

Kidney Removals Questioned in South Dakota

Several lawsuits have already been filed this year alleging illegitimate kidney removals.

Dena Knapp of Iowa said a surgeon in South Dakota erroneously removed her kidney, in a lawsuit filed against him and his practice.

Knapp said the surgery she scheduled at Avera McKennan Hospital was supposed to remove an adrenal gland, and a mass of gland but Dr. Scott Baker instead removed a healthy kidney, reported the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Baker allegedly called Knapp days after the surgery and said part of the gland was still inside her body, and that he “did not get everything.”

Baker advised a second surgery, which she underwent at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Florida Lawsuit Reaches Settlement

In Florida, Maureen Pacheco, 51, went to Wellington Regional Medical Center in April 2016 after a car accident left bones in her lower back fused.

Instead of dealing with the bones, she said, Dr. Ramon Vazquez removed her kidney after thinking he saw cancer in the area.

Pacheco recently settled the lawsuit against Vazquez, and two other doctors but a complaint by the Florida Department of Health is still ongoing, reported WPTV.

Pacheco’s attorney, Donald Ward III, said that Vazquez is unlikely to lose his license over the mistake.

“Physicians do get second chances,” Ward said. “It’s unlikely that he would lose his license over something like this. What is most likely is that he would face a fine, and possibly be required to do some continuing medical education so that he could learn not to make the same mistake in the future.”