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Lawsuit: Surgeon leaves OR early and patient suffers brain injury

During surgical procedures in Massachusetts or anywhere else, unexpected events can and do occasionally happen. This is only one reason among many why it's so important to have highly trained and experienced surgeons present. They can react if a serious issue arises, so that the problem can be addressed quickly, before permanent damage -- such as a brain injury -- occurs. In another state, a family has filed a lawsuit against a surgeon alleging just such an event.

After undergoing open-heart surgery, a 76-year-old patient has been left permanently comatose. The lawsuit alleges that the man's vegetative state was due to his excessive bleeding after surgery. The patient's brain was starved of oxygen due to blood loss when, according to reports, the surgeon left the operating room – and, in fact, the hospital grounds -- before the man was in stable condition.

While the defendant denies these allegations, stating that the patient was stable and that he left the anesthetized individual in the care of a physician's assistant, the doctor also stands accused of violating policy by leaving the hospital grounds without having a backup cardiac surgeon. However, the family of the victim argues that, regardless, the patient was never stable. Cellphone records, medical records and interviews with the surgical team all allegedly demonstrate that the patient's excessive bleeding had been a serious issue from the beginning.

After the patient had lost up to a full third of his blood, he apparently turned blue from lack of oxygen. The surgeon, who was a half hour away at a restaurant at the time, was summoned back to the operating room, but by then it was too late and brain damage had already occurred. The now-comatose man's stepson and wife filed their lawsuit in Dec. 2013, and any residents of Massachusetts who have a loved one who has similarly suffered a severe brain injury due to a health care provider's negligence may wish to explore their legal grounds to do the same in their own state under the guidance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

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

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