Many Louisiana residents have undergone a cardiac procedure of some sort, or at least have seen a close friend or family member do so. Most people would agree that surgical procedures dealing with the heart can be very stressful for the patient, of course, but also for people witnessing their loved one go through such an experience. Many patients survive the ordeal, but unfortunately, a woman in another state died during open-heart surgery, and several members of her family have filed a lawsuit alleging negligence led to her death.
The 62-year-old woman underwent surgery in July, 2018. According to her family, she had the surgery to remove a device that had been placed in her heart in 2009 to correct a defect. The family alleges the surgeon inserted a line intended to collect blood into a vein connected to the woman's heart, but following surgery, he failed to close the line that was pumping her blood into a reservoir. Apparently, once the patient's heart was beating on its own, the perfusionist (the person operating the heart-lung machine) then placed the reservoir in a medical waste garbage can without noticing that the line was still open.
The lawsuit claims that the woman then went into severe distress due to the loss of blood. The surgical team pumped fresh blood into her, but it was not staying in her system, and instead was traveling through the still-open cannula line into the reservoir in the garbage can. She was then pronounced dead. Her family is now suing two doctors involved in the surgery, two health care employers and the hospital.
Unfortunately, not all surgical procedures end successfully, but sometimes a patient's untimely death is a result of negligence on the part of medical professionals. Louisiana residents who have experienced this type of situation often consult with an attorney experienced in medical malpractice who can review the case details and advise them of their legal options. A successfully litigated wrongful death lawsuit could provide grieving family members some comfort as well as help them recover unexpected monetary expenses.