Atlanta Medical Center Sued After Patient Suffers Multi-Organ Failure
Myung J. Oh has filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Medical Center after her husband died in surgery to repair a vertebra fracture. The wrongful death lawsuit accuses her husband’s doctors of failure to take measures to accommodate his heart condition during the surgery, which ended up causing a massive leak of chylolymphatic into his bloodstream, causing multi-organ failure and septic shock.
This is a standard type of medical malpractice lawsuit. In this incident, the victim had a history of heart issues that were being managed by medication. The surgeons did not give Mr. Oh his medication as prescribed, which left him more prone to infection and caused his heartbeat to become irregular.
Analyzing What Went Wrong
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that some deviation in the prevailing standard of care led to medical trauma. The plaintiff is expected to link the trauma directly to some action or omission by the attending staff. Further, the plaintiff must show how the action or omission differed from what a typical doctor would do in a similar situation.
The surgery was successful, but during recovery, Mr. Oh’s abdomen became hard and distended. Health caregivers suspected that Mr. Oh’s condition was related to urinary retention and installed a supra-pubic catheter to drain the bladder. Unfortunately, the radiologist tasked with installing the catheter allegedly missed the bladder, so the catheter led to Mr. Oh’s abdomen instead. The radiologist allegedly did nothing to check to ensure the catheter was leading to the bladder. Instead, he allegedly assumed that the milky white fluid coming from the catheter was urine.
The catheter allowed cystic fluid to drain into Mr. Oh’s bloodstream. This resulted in systemic organ failure and sepsis. Eventually, he died.
Two Major Mistakes
There are two major mistakes allegedly committed by two different doctors. The first doctor was the attending surgeon who neglected to give Mr. Oh his heart medication before surgery. The second and perhaps worse mistake is that the catheter line allegedly did not lead to the patient’s bladder, which failed to relieve pressure in his abdomen and caused a cyst to leak into his bloodstream.
Either of these mistakes may be actionable for a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the second mistake might be especially troubling because it directly resulted in the patient’s death and was alleged to be easily avoided by either taking an image of the patient to ensure the catheter was where it should be or testing the fluid that was coming out of the catheter.
Had doctors done either, the belief is that the mistake would have been caught in time to save Mr. Oh’s life.
Talk to a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorney
If medical negligence resulted in the death of a loved one, or you sustained serious injuries because a doctor failed to administer the appropriate care, call the St. Petersburg medical malpractice attorneys at Masterson, Hoag & Smith to schedule a free consultation and learn more about whether or not you can sue the doctor to recover damages.