(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this medical malpractice/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
Gastroenterologist, Sandrina Ward, M.D. performed an emergent upper endoscopy to determine the etiology of the gastrointestinal bleeding. Dr. Ward ruled out any source of bleeding in the upper gastric tract that could account for the amount of blood or account for the fluid in plaintiff’s abdomen.
As a result of the abdominal bleed, plaintiff suffered an abdominal compartment syndrome and went into respiratory arrest, CPR was performed, and he was errergently taken to the operating room where Dr. Green and Dr. Lee performed a laparotomy (opening of his abdomen). Dr. Green discovered a large hemoperitoneum, an enteral defect in the small bowel interloped mesenteric interstices caused during the first surgery. Neither Dr. Green nor Dr. Smith identified the bowel injury during the original surgery on June 16th although it was present. To not identify same was negligent. The failure to identify and repair the hole in plaintiff’s bowel may be a separate and distinct injury giving rise to a separate cause of action and a cap on general damages of $250,000.
Following the repair to the small bowel, plaintiff’s abdomen was left open. Two days later, on June 26th, Dr. Green inspected and closed the abdomen. Dr. Green failed to identify any additional sources of bleeding.
As the vascular surgeon taking part in the laparotomy on the 24th, Dr. Lee was responsible for determining the source of the massive hemorrhage, including rulding out injury to the abdominal aortic bifurcation and the anterior wall of the left common iliac vein.
As evidenced by the events on June 28th, Dr. Lee failed to adequately inspect, discover and repair all sources of the abdominal bleed. If Dr. Lee caused this bleed by injuring the aorta or left iliac vein when he set his lines this is a separate and distinct cause of action from the prior injuries and gives rise to a separate and distinct general damages cap of $250,000. (See Part 4 of 8.)
For more information you are welcome to contact personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.