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Family claims that hospital negligence caused a loved one's death

For many Louisiana families who have loved ones who have undergone or are planning to undergo surgery, the waiting can be both stressful and terrifying. Families and patients have to wait for a diagnosis, then they have to wait for a procedure, and then they have to wait for the results of that procedure. However, being forced to wait too long can prove deadly to patients. One family claims that hospital negligence is to blame for the death of their loved one. They claim that a delay in his surgery was directly related to the cause of death.

In November 2016, an ambulance brought the victim, who was in severe pain, to the hospital. The victim spent two hours waiting in the emergency room despite the fact that he had a history of ulcers and abdominal disease. After a doctor examined the patient, it was confirmed that he was suffering from a punctured bowel and required emergency surgery. 

Emergency room staff contacted the on-call surgeon, who informed them that he would come and perform the surgery as soon as possible. However, the surgeon did not arrive at the hospital until four hours later, and the surgery did not take place until a half hour after that. By that point, the patient was already in septic shock, and he died the next morning despite having undergone surgery. It was determined that the cause of death was respiratory failure, septic shock and a small bowel obstruction. 

The lawsuit claims that the hospital had a responsibility to see that a surgeon responded within one hour of being called. The victim's condition was severe, and the family believes that the hospital should have had a backup surgeon to contact in the event that the first could not perform the surgery. The surgeon who was contacted claimed that he was performing another surgery when he was contacted and that he called another surgeon to perform the victim's surgery, but research has yielded no proof that such a call was made.

Waiting for a diagnosis or results of a procedure can be stressful for the patient and his family.  However, waiting can yield deadly results as well. Louisiana patients or their families who believe that they are victims of hospital negligence or medical malpractice could benefit from speaking with a local attorney. 

Source: nbclosangeles.com, "South Bay Family Blames Hospital, Surgeon for Loved One's Death", Paul Krueger, Dec. 29, 2017

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