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Coroner says surgical errors led to kidney donor's death

Every time an individual goes into surgery, there are certain risks associated with the procedure. Patients rely on the surgeon and other staff in the operating room to avoid potential surgical errors. Otherwise, patients here in Oregon and elsewhere could suffer serious injuries or death.

A widow claims that a surgeon made a mistake last year that cost her husband his life. His 69-year-old father needed a kidney, and he was willing to donate one of his. Her lawsuit indicates that on April 16, 2015, her husband underwent a laparoscopic donor nephrectomy during which his kidney was removed.

Once the kidney was out, the 40-year-old man began bleeding internally, and his blood pressure plummeted. The surgeon attempted to locate the source of the blood, but was unsuccessful. He died the next day.

An autopsy was performed, and the Florida coroner who conducted it discovered that the ligature used to stop bleeding from his renal artery, which was severed as part of the surgery, was missing. The coroner determined that the man died as a result of a failed ligature that should have bound the renal artery stump. This led the widow to file a lawsuit against the surgeon and the facility where the operation took place.

As would be the case here in Oregon, the coroner's report may be used as evidence to help establish that negligent surgical errors led to her husband's death. If negligence is proved, the court could order an award of damages to be paid by one or more of the defendants. If each of them is found to be liable, each will be ordered to pay a portion of an award based on the percentage of responsibility assigned to each of them by the court.

Source: news-press.com, "Lawsuit filed over kidney transplant death at Gulf Coast", Frank Gluck, March 31, 2016

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