Edina doctor's shocking errors punished
The state disciplined Edina doctor who removed wrong kidney, made biopsy error.
Star TribuneLast update: January 15, 2010 - 10:42 PM
Photo by Dulas Floyd
A veteran Edina doctor has been disciplined for removing the wrong kidney of a patient during cancer surgery, a medical mix-up that made headlines across the state in 2008, and for taking a biopsy from the wrong organ of another patient a few months later.
Dr. Erol T. Uke, a urologist, has been reprimanded and indefinitely barred from inpatient surgery by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, the board said Friday.
Uke, 59, could not immediately be reached for comment. His attorney, Paul C. Peterson, said in a statement: "Dr. Uke is very sorry for the medical errors that occurred here. The isolated conduct involved is not representative of the high quality of care he has provided to thousands of patients during his career.''
A state report issued in the summer of 2008, while not naming Uke, said he made the initial error while performing surgery on a patient with kidney cancer in March 2008 at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. Uke told investigators he removed the wrong kidney because he was distracted by beeper calls and other patients and that he failed to read the radiologist's notes to ensure he was operating on the correct side, according to a report by the state's Office of Health Facility Complaints.
The case drew wide attention at the time, and Methodist admitted the error in a rare public apology on March 17, 2008, six days after the surgery.
Later, the hospital imposed new rules for "mistake proofing" the operating room, including extra steps to doublecheck radiology images and mark patients' surgery sites before procedures. State investigators concluded the hospital has taken corrective action and would not be cited for the incident.
In a statement at the time, the hospital's owner, Park Nicollet Health Services, said it took full responsibility for the "tragic medical error" and cooperated fully with the investigation. "We work continuously to eliminate errors and will not rest until we reduce them to zero," the statement said.
Hospital spokesman Jeremiah Whitten declined Friday to reveal anything about the identity or the fate of the patient, citing "patient and personnel privacy restrictions." But the state report revealed that the patient had subsequent surgery at another hospital to try to remove the tumor and save his remaining kidney.
Uke's erroneous biopsy followed about four months later, the Board of Medical Practice said. In that case, the doctor performed a biopsy on a patient's pancreas rather than a kidney. The board report did not say where that procedure occurred or what became of the patient.
The board lists no other disciplinary actions against Uke.
Uke has had his Minnesota doctor's license since 1982. He graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and had post-graduate training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and at Northwestern.
A psychological evaluation determined that Uke "had experienced two incidents of isolated surgical errors" and recommended that he limit his practice to outpatient work and procedures.
He can regain his privileges after the board determines that he is "fit and competent to resume the performance of surgery," the board said. In other restrictions, the board said Uke: cannot practice more than 40 hours per week; is limited to outpatient surgery in clinic or office settings; is subject to quarterly reports to the board by a supervising doctor; and must meet quarterly with a board member.
In the period that includes Uke's surgical errors, October 2007-2008, 18 people died and nearly 100 were seriously injured as a result of medical mistakes, accidents or negligence in Minnesota hospitals, according to a state Health Department report on medical errors. Hospitals reported 77 cases of surgical errors, including 21 operations on the wrong body part, and two on the wrong patient.
LINK TO PHOTO OF DR:
LINK TO: Minnesota Board of Medical Practice's disciplinary order regarding Dr. Erol T. Uke
August 2020 July 2020 June 2020 May 2020 April 2020 March 2020 February 2020 January 2020 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 March 2019 February 2019 January 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008