While SSM officials initially declined to comment, St. Clare Health Center President Bill Hoefer released a statement, noting that the hospital is “committed to patient safety and the highest-quality health care. If a medical error does occur, we take it very seriously. We investigate thoroughly to see what processes can be changed to prevent it from ever happening again, and then we make those changes immediately.”
On Wednesday, SSM CEO Chris Howard issued an apology, according to the Associated Press, saying they were “devastated” by the error.
SSM spokeswoman Kirsten Johnson also confirmed that Arnold Levy, the neurosurgeon who operated on Turner, is a SSM Health Care employee in addition to having staff privileges at St. Mary’s Health Center and DePaul Health Center.
According to Wolff, Turner began suffering a series of mini-strokes five years ago. Last December, her speaking ability was affected. The surgery was meant to prevent any future strokes.
Turner’s lawsuit also accuses SSM employees of incorrectly setting up the operating room. They then “stood by and watched A.L. operate on the wrong side of [the] plaintiff’s skull and brain when they could have prevented the error.”
It asks for compensation “sufficient to punish” SSM and Levy for what it characterizes as their “complete indifference to or conscious disregard for the safety of Regina Turner.”