Family sues doctor who walked out of surgery

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

New York residents whose loved ones will soon be going through surgery may have heard that a 72-year-old California man was left in a vegetative state after the surgeon allegedly left in the middle of surgery to attend a luncheon. According to media sources, the family claims that the man’s condition was a result of medical malpractice on behalf of the cardiologist and have since filed a lawsuit against the doctor, the hospital and the medical group the doctor is a part of.

The man went into a local hospital in April 2012 after it was discovered that he needed open-heart surgery to correct an aortic aneurism and a calcified heart valve. After waiting for about two hours, the cardiologist arrived to tell them that the surgery was a success, and that was when he allegedly left for the luncheon. However, soon after, the family was informed that serious complications had arisen. According to the report, the man went into cardiac arrest and thus never regained full consciousness.

Almost two years later, the stepson got a call from an anonymous nurse who stated that his stepfather’s condition was caused by the cardiologist’s absence during surgery. Allegedly, the cardiologist had an unqualified assistant close the man’s chest. When complications arose, the cardiologist was not around to perform the necessary bypass. The hospital denies that the doctor left, and although there was a similar incident reported to the California Department of Public Health, representatives say that it wasn’t the situation in this case.

The man’s family has filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the doctor for unspecified damages. Families of patients who are injured or killed as a result of medical errors may wish to speak to a personal injury attorney. They may help them seek compensation for further medical expenses or funeral costs.

Source: ABC News, “Man Left Brain Damaged After Doctor Allegedly Abandons Man’s Open-Heart Surgery“, Sydney Lupkin, January 15, 2014

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