Today Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. filed a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit in the Circuit Court of DeKalb County, Illinois, against an anesthesiologist, his practice group and the hospital he practiced at in a case involving the death of a 57-year-old woman on October 19, 2010. On October 18, the woman was admitted for same day laparoscopic surgery to repair a hiatal hernia, a procedure known as a Nissen Fundoplication. Unbeknownst to her surgeon, at approximately 4 p.m., as she was rolled out of the operating room, the patient was internally bleeding from an artery that was damaged in the surgery. This was not discovered in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. More than two hours later the patient suffered a cardiac arrest, and after resuscitation was taken to surgery where massive internal bleeding from the artery wound was found.
An anesthesiology expert supporting the case explained in a report attached to the lawsuit that the defendant anesthesiologist “allowed the patient to remain dangerously hypotensive for two hours in the PACU without working up, acting upon or possibly even considering the diagnosis of intra-abdominal bleeding from the surgical site as a treatable cause of the hypotension.” If he had obtained a blood count and called the surgeon in sooner, the patient likely would have been saved from the prolonged period of massive transfusions that followed and contributed to her disseminated intravascular coagulation and subsequent demise.
Lead attorney David E. Rapoport explained today: “Our heart goes out to the family. We will pursue justice and are proud to have such an outstanding anesthesiologist helping us prosecute this case. What happened October 18 should not happen to anyone who has same day surgery.”