Some busy surgeons are known to leave the operating room before the surgery is completed, leaving less-experienced doctors to finish. This can result in terrible consequences.
Recently, a 72-year-old man and his wife filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a cardiac surgeon and a hospital alleging that the man’s surgeon left his open heart surgical procedure early. The patient, once active and in good health, has been bedridden in a vegetative state since the operation he underwent nearly two years ago. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice case can be found here.
According to the medical malpractice suit, the patient visited a prominent medical center for the repair of an ascending aortic aneurysm. A prestigious cardiac surgeon was scheduled to perform the surgery on April 2, 2012. Rather than finishing the procedure properly, the medical malpractice suit alleges that the surgeon left the operating room before the patient was stabilized and instructed a physician’s assistant to close the patient’s chest. Upon the surgeon’s exit, however, the patient’s health took a turn for the worse: his heart stopped beating as oxygen and blood rapidly escaped his body. The medical malpractice suit claims the surgeon raced back to the operating room to manually massage the patient’s heart, but it was too late – the damage already had been done. Subsequent investigations surrounding the alleged medical malpractice also revealed that the physician’s assistant who was instructed to remain in the operating room was not qualified to complete the procedure.
The medical malpractice suit alleges that the surgeon’s negligence in failing to complete the procedure caused multiple serious complications. Today, the patient remains on life support and has significant medical expenses as a result of the physician’s negligence.
Additionally, the cardiac surgeon’s decision to leave the operating room during surgery early violated clear hospital policies that prevent a surgeon from leaving a surgical procedure before the patient is in stable condition.
The medical malpractice suit notes that the cardiac surgeon was one of the busiest heart surgeons in California prior to this operation gone seriously wrong. While this may be humbling, it also threatens the safety and well-being of patients. When doctors are booked up and being pulled in several directions at once they sometimes may be unable to devote their full attention and resources to the patients they treat. Unfortunately, this may have been the case for this patient and his family, and now they are forced to cope with the tragic consequences.
Choosing a health care professional, especially a cardiac surgeon, can be a daunting task. Most of the time, all goes as planned and patients benefit from the care they receive from their treating professionals. However, even the most qualified and experienced surgeons can make mistakes that leave patients like this man seriously injured.
The upside to this case is that it hopefully provides surgeons and all medical professionals with a valuable lesson: to take their time and treat each and every patient with the appropriate care they deserve. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White can help you determine if you have been a victim of medical malpractice. We have successfully represented thousands of patients and their families who have been injured as a result of a physician’s or surgeon’s negligence.