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Did multiple surgical errors result in the death of a patient?

When undergoing surgery, Louisiana patients want a doctor that is confident in his or her abilities. However, an inexperienced and overconfident doctor can unintentionally cause a wide variety of problems for patients and their families. One family alleges that a doctor's overconfidence and unwillingness to take the advice of others resulted in multiple surgical errors and the death of their loved one.

The 61-year-old man was admitted to an out-of-state hospital for aortic valve replacement surgery. This procedure was the recommended treatment for the patient's existing heart condition. It was supposed to be a minimally invasive surgery that should have taken no longer than 90 minutes to complete. 

The pending lawsuit indicates that the doctor that was to perform the surgery had never done so alone. Reports indicate that he willfully ignored the advice of other, more experienced surgeons to have someone with the appropriate experience assist him. During the procedure at Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, that doctor allegedly failed to follow all of the instructions for installing the new heart valve.

At first, the operation was proceeding as planned, but complications resulted in the surgery exceeding the 90-minute time limit. Instead of opening up the man's chest after exceeding that time limit, the doctor is said to have attempted to complete the procedure through a small incision in the chest. Even though multiple errors caused the surgical team assisting with the procedure to become "uncomfortable," allegations indicate that none of them sought outside help. The patient was moved to the ICU 11 hours after the procedure began where he passed away two days later. 

Sadly, this case may not be an isolated one. Louisiana residents that believe they or a loved one suffered injuries (fatal or otherwise) as the result of surgical errors may wish to consider seeking an understanding of their legal rights and options. An attorney could review the situation to help determine whether it would be appropriate to pursue restitution for any unexpected financial losses and other damages associated with the incident. 

Source:, "Doctor's "cascade of errors" caused patient's death, lawsuit alleges", Mike Hendricks, Oct. 27, 2017

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