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Medical malpractice suit filed because surgeon left too early

When a loved one needs surgery, every family wants the procedure to be performed by the best available physician. However, as some Louisiana residents may know, it is easy for these doctors to take on too many patients. In some cases, this may result in sub-par care for those in need. One family has filed a medical malpractice suit against one such cardiac surgeon, claiming that his heavy workload contributed to their loved one being left in a vegetative state. 

A 76-year-old patient underwent open heart surgery to replace a heart valve and to repair his damaged aorta. The surgeon claims that the surgery was completed as planned, and the patient was stable when he left the operating room to speak to the family, and an experienced assistant closed up the incision. Then, the surgeon left the hospital grounds for a meeting but was called back because the patient was suffering from excess bleeding. 

The patient's family remembers the events differently. Records show that the bleeding did not start after the surgery, but it was a recurring problem during the procedure for the surgical staff. While on the phone with the surgeon, the assistant attempted to reopen the incision and hook the patient up to heart and lung machines. He also attempted to help by massaging the patient's heart, but he was not successful. Excessive bleeding after the surgery caused the patient to lose enough blood to starve his brain of oxygen, leaving him in a comatose state.

The surgeon is said to have violated medical policy by leaving the operating room before the patient was stable and the incision was sewn up. A staff member at the hospital even claimed that she was punished after filing a complaint against the surgeon for leaving the operating room early. The surgeon was also accused of violating policy by failing to have a backup cardiac surgeon on site after he left hospital grounds. It was also noted that this doctor may not have had time to properly care for the patient due to his workload, 749 surgeries over 730 days.

Patients undergoing surgery want to know that they are being cared for by the best available doctors. However, if these doctors are too overburdened, then the patients may suffer. Louisiana residents who are considering filing a medical malpractice suit could benefit from seeking the advice of an attorney. 

Source: fresnobee.com, "Surgeon in medical malpractice trial left the operating room too soon, attorney says", Lewis Griswold, Jan. 11, 2018

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