In July 2015, a Minnesota couple filed a Minnesota medical malpractice lawsuit in federal court against a local hospital system for the alleged medical negligence of the defendant’s surgeon and anesthesiologist during post-operative care of the husband that allegedly resulted in his severe injuries, including blindness and deafness. The defendant recently filed a response to the federal Minnesota medical malpractice lawsuit, alleging that its employees and agents used appropriate and reasonable care in treating the man and that they are not responsible for the man’s injuries and losses.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
The husband had undergone elective surgery during mid-December 2012 at the defendant hospital to repair an open aortic aneurysm. He was given heparin both before and during surgery (heparin is used to prevent blood clots from forming during certain medical procedures or in people who have certain medical conditions; heparin is also used to stop the growth of blood clots that have already formed but it does not reduce the size of clots that may have already formed).
The operative report for the man’s surgery states that he lost 3,200 ml of blood during the surgery but does not state any other complications during surgery. The operative note does not state that the heparin was reversed during surgery.
The man was taken to the recovery room following surgery but was subsequently taken to the critical care unit of the hospital a couple of hours later after he became hypotensive (too low blood pressure). His physicians suspected that he was bleeding internally and he was brought back to the operating room for exploratory surgery, two and a half hours after he had arrived in the critical care unit. The surgeon found that the man was bleeding into his abdomen but could not find the source of the bleeding. Following the exploratory surgery, the man was returned to the critical care unit, where he was heavily sedated and was placed on a ventilator. He was unable to follow commands and was confused and disoriented during the following several weeks.
In mid-January 2013, it was determined that the man had suffered total blindness and near-total deafness. The couple’s Minnesota medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the surgeon and the anesthesiologist negligently failed to reverse the effects of the heparin following the initial surgery, and were negligent in failing to order repeat activated clotting time (“ACT”) tests following the surgery. The plaintiffs further claim that the physicians negligently failed to properly manage the man’s post-operative hypotension.
The plaintiffs’ Minnesota medical malpractice lawsuit seeks compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 for the man’s medical and rehabilitation expenses, his loss of vision and hearing, his loss of enjoyment of life, as well as his loss of earnings and earning capacity, his pain, suffering, mental anguish, and disability, and for the wife’s loss of consortium claim.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or worse) as a result of negligent medical or surgical care in Minnesota or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Minnesota medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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