SANTA ANA, California — A California surgeon has been disciplined for removing a prisoner’s healthy kidney and leaving the diseased one intact.
The state medical board last week placed Dr. Charles Coonan Streit on probation for three years, the Orange County Register reported Tuesday.
The board said Streit, a urologist who has had his license for 41 years, relied on memory to decide which kidney to remove because he didn’t have access to the patient’s complete medical records.
The 2012 operation at Fullerton’s St. Jude Medical Center involved a 59-year-old federal inmate. The hospital was fined $100,000 by the California Department of Public Health because CT scans were left in an office on the day of the surgery. The hospital now mandates such images be submitted before a procedure is scheduled, a spokeswoman said.
The nurses and an anesthesiologist who assisted Streit in the kidney surgery told state inspectors that they repeatedly asked the patient which kidney was diseased, and he told them the wrong side.
As a condition of his probation, Streit is required to enroll in a wrong-site surgery course at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. He is also barred from supervising physician assistants.
The inmate underwent a second procedure to have the cancerous kidney removed.
An attorney representing Streit didn’t reply to a message seeking comment.