While lying on the operating table, a man who was 70 years old at the time started to bleed. Doctors spent hours trying to stop the bleeding, but the condition starved the patient’s brain of oxygen and he slipped into a permanent coma. Now, the man’s family has filed a medical malpractice case against the surgeon and his medical group, claiming that the doctor abandoned his patient before his operation was complete.
What’s the Story Behind This Fresno Medical Malpractice Case?
A retired packing house worker from Sanger entered the Community Regional Medical Center due to intense chest pain. The patient was soon scheduled for open heart surgery to repair an aneurysm and replace a heart valve. On the morning of April 2, 2012, the operation began, and it seemed that the 70-year-old had weathered the operation, so doctors began to close the patient. It is at this point that the family of this patient claims medical negligence occurred.
The surgeon in charge reportedly left the operating room before the patient’s chest had been closed, leaving the final stage of the surgery to a physician assistant and a general surgeon. The patient’s condition suddenly took a turn as he began bleeding. Hours passed, and several doctors worked on the patient. They were finally able to stop the bleeding later that evening, but by then, the patient had already suffered severe brain damage.
The family claims that this may not have happened if the patient’s surgeon had not left before the 70-year-old’s surgery was completed. However, when put on the stand during the medical malpractice trial, this surgeon claims a different story than the other members of the operating team.
He claims that he did not leave before the man’s chest was closed. The surgeon told the jury that he stepped back when it was time to close the patient’s chest and supervised the general surgeon and physician’s assistant who did the job. He claims that he only left for his business meeting after the patient’s surgical wound was closed.
This testimony varies from the reports made by other members of the medical team, and it conflicts with the doctor’s phone records, which show the hospital calling his cellphone while he was away from the patient. In the end, the jury will have to decide where the truth lies in these varied testimonies. The family of this patient also took Community Regional Medical Center to court. The hospital settled the case for an undisclosed amount.
This case proves how complicated a medical malpractice case can be, and how versions of events can change from witness to witness. Having an experienced medmal attorney by your side may make all the difference when it comes to reaching a fair result. To learn more about what it takes to handle medical malpractice cases like this, keep following the Bay Area attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C.