A serious complicated surgery is difficult for any patient to undergo, but many make the choice every day in Delaware and across the country. Many choose to risk the possibility of surgical errors because of the trust they have for their surgeon, and the hope for a healthy outcome. One family in another state was recently awarded millions in a lawsuit due to a surgeon’s choice to leave his patient before the surgery ended.
The family filed a lawsuit against a popular surgeon after their loved one had serious complications at the end of his surgery. The 70-year-old patient’s health required an open heart surgery, which appeared to go well until the end of the surgery. The surgeon decided to delegate the end of the surgery and closure of the patient to a physician assistant. The surgeon not only left the operating room but left the hospital to attend a business lunch.
The patient suffered a serious loss of blood during the closure, resulting in a coma and vegetative state that currently requires around the clock care. Although the man was 70 and retired, he apparently was the full-time caretaker of his wife who suffers from dementia. The jury heard multiple witness testimonies and awarded the family $55.6 million. Recently, the jury deliberated and awarded the family an additional $12.39 million in punitive damages.
It is difficult when any surgical outcome is not as a surgeon or patient had hoped it would be. It must surely be difficult to learn that the outcome may have been prevented had medical negligence not occurred. Medical malpractice attorneys in Delaware can review any case involving similar surgical errors and advise families of the best approach to pursuing claims for monetary damages accrued due to physical and emotional losses.
Source: fresnobee.com, “Jury orders Fresno heart surgeon to pay $68 million to family of man left in coma“, Pablo Lopez, March 19, 2018