Hospital Required to Defend Itself After Careless Surgeon Negligently Kills Patient

A hospital in Texas now has to answer to charges of egregious negligent behavior in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the family of a woman who bled out following routine surgery at the hospital.

According to Outpatient Surgery Magazine, the hospital granted privileges to a surgeon who had a “well documented history of malpractice, drug addiction, mental problems, and loss of privileges at other hospitals. The information was readily available, and the hospital either knew or should have known, but chose to grant privileges to the surgeon despite his inability to properly perform.

The patient went in to Renaissance Hospital for non-emergency spinal surgery, and during the operation, the surgeon severed a major artery. Failing to notice the mistake, the surgeon closed the incision, and the patient suffered massive internal hemorrhaging, cardiac arrest, and ultimately death.

Another doctor working for a clinic branch of the hospital had referred the patient to this surgeon. Both the referring doctor and the hospital were negligent in failing to take into account the surgeon’s rocky past, and continuing to grant referrals and privileges, respectively.

However, the attending surgeon wasn’t the only one making critical medical negligence errors that day; Post-Anesthesia Care Unit nurses also failed to recognize and respond to signs that the patient was in danger, following the surgery.

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit nurses are generally highly trained, and charged with essential post-operative care of patients, including monitoring vital signs and ensuring that the patient is responding properly in accordance with normal post-operative behavior.

According to court documents, the patient’s abdomen was visibly expanded due to her severe internal bleeding, and expert witnesses stated that trained nurses ought to have easily been able to recognize that the patient was in trouble.

The nurses breached the standard of care owed to the patient by negligently failing to note her symptoms. Experts believe that had they been properly paying attention, the problem may have been able to be corrected in time.

The hospital filed a motion to dismiss the medical malpractice lawsuit and the trial court denied the motion. On June 30, a Texas court of appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling; as a result, the case will move forward and go to trial, if the hospital doesn’t offer to settle prior to trial.

Unfortunately, though many hospitals are careful in their treatment of patients, a number of health care providers and institutions simply are not. Devastatingly these situations often result in severe permanent injuries, and even death. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys have seen hundreds of Illinois medical malpractice cases and understand the pain caused not only to the victim, but to friends and loved ones who must also share the loss caused by the medical negligence. If you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an attorney immediately to determine your rights.

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