Lawsuit: Surgeon Removed Woman's Kidney by Mistake

Dena Knapp was supposed to have an adrenal gland removed
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2018 4:31 PM CDT
A gurney lies empty outside an operating room.   (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

(Newser) – Dena Knapp went to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., to have an adrenal gland and associated mass removed. Instead, according to a lawsuit, Dr. Scott Baker removed her healthy right kidney, USA Today reports. The suit claims that Baker was told by the hospital pathology department after the Oct. 5, 2016, surgery that he removed the kidney and not the glands. However, two days later he told Knapp that he hadn't heard from pathology, the suit alleges. Knapp says that Baker called her on Oct. 11 and said that she would need a second surgery because "he did not get everything."

Instead of returning to Baker, though, Knapp had the gland and mass removed by a Mayo Clinic surgeon. According to the suit, Knapp now suffers from incurable, progressive kidney disease in her remaining kidney, as well as pain, fatigue and, depression. Knapp says the whole thing has resulted in expenses of more than $96,000 and lost income of $42,000 and counting, KTIV reports. Also, according to the suit, Knapp "has been unable to perform many functions and has required replacement services to clean and maintain her home, the past and future cost of which is yet to be determined.” (Read more medical malpractice stories.)

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