(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.)
June 24,2006: Massive Bleed and Cardiac Arrest
Eight days after the initial surgery, plaintiff suffered a dramatic drop in blood pressure, was bleeding from his nose, and had a severe GI bleed. Dr. Lee placed an arterial and femoral line in plaintiff’s groin to measure his blood pressure and rapidly infuse blood. The line is placed using a guide wire which is inserted in the groin and up the iliac vein approximately 15-20 centimeters into the area of the bifurcation of the aorta. A hard rigid catheter is placed on top of the guide wire which, if erroneously placed, can cause injury to the aorta.
Gastroenterologist, Sandrina Ward, M.D., performed an emergent upper endoscopy to determine the etiology of the massive gastrointestinal bleeding. Dr. Ward ruled out any source of bleeding in the upper gastric tract.
From the abdominal bleeding, plaintiff suffered from abdominal compartment syndrome and went into respiratory arrest, CPR was performed, and he was emergently 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. The injury was directly opposite and facing a suture which was used by Dr. Green to repair the mesenteric injury during Plaintiff’s original surgery on June 16th. Neither Dr. Green nor Dr. Smith identified this injury to the small bowel during the original surgery on June 16th.
Following the repair to the small bowel, Plaintiff’s abdomen was left open. Two days later, on June 26th, Dr. Green performed another laparotomy. Dr. Green failed to identify any additional sources of bleeding and plaintiff’s abdomen was closed.
As the vascular surgeon taking part in the laparotomy on the 24th, Dr. Lee was responsible for determining the source of the hemorrhage, including ruling out injury to the abdominal aortic bifurcation and the anterior wall of the left common iliac veir. As evidenced by the events on June 28th, Dr. Lee failed to adequately inspect, discover and repair all sources of the bleed. On June 26, 2006, a second laparotomy was performed by Dr. Green, no additional injuries were identified. (See Part 4 of 11.)
For more information you are welcome to contact personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.