Man Sues Hospital, Doc: Appendix Left In After Appendectomy

When you have appendicitis, you get an appendectomy. Removal is ultimately the only solution, and, once done, you don't have to worry about it again. Unless you do.

That's what William McCormack of Bronxville, NY learned the hard way. The 43-year-old was doubled over in pain while on vacation in March. Rushed to the hospital, he was given an emergency appendectomy, according to WCBS radio. The odd part thing was that he already had undergone an appendectomy in January 2013 at Lawrence Hospital Center.

Now McCormack is suing the hospital as well as Dr. Michael Kerin. The former director of surgery was supposed to have removed the appendix but, apparently, took out something else.

The hospital told The Journal News that it is investigating the claim but would not comment on pending litigation. The court filings include a report, electronically signed by Kerin, which stated "that his appendix was removed, and all was otherwise satisfactory."

One problem, though: a pathology report from the hospital allegedly indicates that what was presented to the lab wasn't an appendix, as McCormack's lawyer, Mitchell Baker, told WCBS radio. Instead, it was "a three centimeter yellowish mass." McCormack told WCBS-TV that he was never told about the yellowish mass or about his appendix being left in.

"Dr. Kerin ... should've known what an appendix looks like," Baker said to WCBS.

Let's see, board-certified surgeon, former director of surgery at Lawrence Hospital, and member of the American College of Surgeons, as Dr. Kerin's website notes. The American Board of Surgery did verify Kerin's status, as did someone at the American College of Surgeons. So, yup, he probably should have known what an appendix looks like.

Aside from the inherent discomfort and danger of having surgery twice, leaving an unhealthy appendix in someone carried additional risks. According to the Mayo Clinic staff, appendicitis is "a condition in which your appendix becomes inflamed and fills with pus." The standard treatment is removing the appendix. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, swelling, and vomiting. Pain that keeps someone from standing or sitting needs immediate medical attention. If not removed, the appendix can rupture, leaking infection into the abdominal cavity, a condition called peritonitis that can be fatal, according to medical information site WebMD.

Kerin has opened his own practice called Michael Kerin MD General Surgery & Med Spa. It combines such surgical procedures as laparoscopy, hernia repair, breast surgery, and wound care with vein care and spa services.

In a section of the website called From the Doctor's Desk was an article, credited to iHealthSpot.com, was an article about the first removal of an appendix through someone's mouth. Other than one small incision near the navel, the procedure is supposedly otherwise scarless. Plus, how can you miss that sucker coming out? After McCormack's alleged experience, just call it additional peace of mind.

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Jeanette Tapprich-Ro

Its very unfortunate that this had to happen. Good luck to you suing the doctor. It is not a easy task. You have to prove that the doctor intentionally intended to do harm to the patient. My husband who has since past a way had a chest tube placement with several difficulties even left a 2 inch screw in him which caused him pain as well infection and made his compromised immune system worse. The surgeon apparently didn't look at he before and after x ray pictures or reports and was not discovered until I had taken him to the emergency room in pain saying something is poking me. The Emergency department found it very quickly. I was told that I could not sue the doctor due to he did not intentionally do this although he admitted to it but does not know where the screw came from. Like I said good luck! I am a nurse and am so disappointed in the medical field. Every one is human and makes mistakes but look at your multiple before and after placement pictures.

April 12 2014 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pastor Ric

Now that his private practice is over, watch for Dr. Michael Kerin at your local VA hospital.

April 12 2014 at 8:55 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dadofoh49

"Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine Dr. Howard {Three Stooges}

April 12 2014 at 6:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
hinkel03@hotmail.com

This clown Dr is like most--"the God Attitude", think they are perfect. Most Drs should be in jail for first degree murder. If you think you are ill see a Herbal Doctor first--search: Dr Joel Wallach also. AMA wants all Drs studying herbals--most Drs will not--they get huge kick backs from Pharms. Remember folks its all about money not your health nor mine.

April 12 2014 at 5:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to hinkel03@hotmail.com's comment
J. Craig

It is indeed an incredible mistake that I have never heard of before now! There is only one appendix on one side of the lower R-abdominal quadrant. Gross negligence for sure! Sounds like you are also quite aware of the just HOW the entire medical industry runs. It is all about $$$$ and not patient health. B/c.....as a business model; a sick person is a good customer!!

April 12 2014 at 6:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
SB8881

You should be in a remedial class for being retarded. The huge kickbacks docs get from "Pharms" are pens and an occasional steak dinner. You are right that patient care is often not a top priority, but thank the healthcare industry and Obamacare. There is motivation to run a practice like an assembly line just to stay afloat. The herbal doctor comment is ludicrous. Take some herbs for acute appendicits or an acute intraabdominal infection and get back to me. The positive outcome of that would be that we wouldn't have to read any more of your ridiculous posts.

April 12 2014 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SB8881's comment
Kathy

Obviously you have your panties in a bunch....As a retired nurse, with a line of certifications and having worked as Administrator in Residence save your ire and try the truth...Docs have gotten a whole lot more than an occasional steak dinner from pharmacy reps...This assembly line practice as you put it started with HMO's years ago...and all lived on great amounts of money and patted themselves on the back. The same whining from some factions in medicine happened when Medicare came out...then when Medicare Part D.....there will always be a group that does not think they are paid enough...Obviously you are in that group..When something like this happens it is out and out malpractice if you have never told the patient the truth..and lab reported so save your BS.
I have worked in teaching hospitals and private hospitals and there good doc's and doc that even remedial would not help.
And incident reports are the hidden truth...QA umbrella's save your asses...for Obama care to be a problem it would have to have a track record but it is nimrods like you who have jumped the gun before it was even loaded...I am sure glad i do not practice around people like you who are probably an unemployed lab or housekeeper or you would not have used the term retarded....

April 16 2014 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Ivelisse

Thats crazy !!!

April 12 2014 at 4:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
noteugene

Correction. That Doctor turned out to be a privledged idiot as I belive many are. You are right that I should have avoided making such a blanket statement. (All). But I could say the same concerning you. Never said I was against the world, just that doctor. Where in my comment did I state or imply that everyone was against me? Where in my comment did I state that everyone with an education was wrong? I think education is wonderful. You should obtain one, then you would know how to read. I was directing sarcasm toward the comment you made concerning the "pathetic, laughable, uneducated and uninformed". Wish I had met just 1 of the attorneys you mentioned.

April 12 2014 at 2:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to noteugene's comment
pikahereandthere

you are educated? are you telling telling somebody else how to read? because your whole comment looks like you are talking to yourself. who is you? who are you talking to? you're just randomly addressing nobody. wow. i think somebody needs to learn a lot.

April 12 2014 at 5:12 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
SB8881

You stated that the doctor, the licensing board, and 2 attorneys didn't agree with you. That's alot of educated professionals who take an opposing position to your view. In the hour I watched the news this morning, I have seen 3 commercials by attorneys who are ambulance chasers and want to sue a doc for any complaint or side effect a patient can come up with after taking medication. It speaks volumes that you can't find an attorney to take your case. My comment with "pathetic, laughable, undeducated, and uninformed" was appropriately directed toward commenters like you who have had a terrible experience, and are appropriately angry, but then make the jump to say all doctors are priveleged idiots or get a free pass to "screw up" without consequence.

April 12 2014 at 9:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Rachel

I hate when that happens...

April 12 2014 at 2:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Derrick

I have spent 25+ years as a Surgical First Assistant - never seen or heard of that happening with a appendix!

April 12 2014 at 1:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
raiderfan75

You have GOT to be kidding !!!!!!!

April 12 2014 at 1:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
blo2thehead

Did he find any Junior Mints?

April 12 2014 at 1:28 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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