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Family sues after surgical error results in 67-year-old’s death

Surgeons are among some of the most skilled and experienced of all medical professionals. Often highly sought-after due to their skill level, surgeons are frequently regarded in the medical community as being among the elite. While the majority of surgical procedures are successful and without error, when surgical errors do happen, those impacted often suffer devastating harm and injury.

The family of a 67-year-old man recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit when the man died after undergoing heart surgery. According to court documents, two surgeons and the hospital are named as defendants in the case and are accused of medical negligence which lead to the man's wrongful death.

The lawsuit notes that the man began experiencing problems a few days after undergoing heart surgery. At that time, nurses taking care of the man noted that what appeared to be fecal matter was leaking around the area where the man's chest tube protruded. Upon closer examination, the man's doctors both consulted with other doctors about the possibility of the man's colon being punctured by the chest tube during the initial heart procedure.

In an attempt to repair the man's colon, another doctor performed a surgical procedure at which time it was discovered that the chest tube inserted during the initial surgery had indeed punctured the his colon. The doctor attempted to both repair the man's colon as well as clean the chest wound which was covered in fecal matter.

Despite these efforts, the man's condition worsened and he died nine days after the initial surgery of sepsis. His family subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in which they accused the surgeons who performed the heart surgery of negligence. In addition to puncturing the man's colon with the chest tube, the two doctors were also accused of failing to aid in helping save the man's life.

Source: Court House News, "Family Claims Surgical Error Was Fatal," Joe Harris, Sep. 23, 2013

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