Gorovitz & Borten, P.C.
Attorneys at Law

550 Cochituate Road, Suite 25
Framingham, Massachusetts
01701
Tel: (781) 890-9095
Postoperative
Peritonitis  Death
On Jan. 24, 2001, the plaintiff's decedent, 42, underwent a sigmoid
colectomy and Hartmann pouch. Following the operation, the
plaintiff's decedent was doing well.  

In an office note dated Feb. 9, 2001, the surgeon indicated that the
decedent should wait at least three months before having a
re-anastomosis performed in order to let the abdomen heal and
allow re-anastomosis with the least complications.  

With the surgeon away on vacation, the defendant surgeon took
over the care of the plaintiff's decedent. Contrary to the
three-month wait recommended by the first surgeon, on March 15,
2001, the defendant surgeon performed a complex surgery
involving laparotomy, take down of ischemic colon, colostomy
removal, anastomosis and colonic resection just 49 days after the
initial surgery.  

Post-operatively, the plaintiff's decedent developed a high fever that
remained throughout the remainder of his hospitalization. He also
developed an ileus, a large anastomotic leak, an interloop abscess
and experienced confusion. Despite the signs and symptoms of a
deteriorating physical condition, the defendant surgeon reportedly
undertook no intervention to address the issues over the next 12
days.

Further, the plaintiff's decedent had developed worsening sepsis
secondary to extravasation of fecal material in his peritoneal cavity.
Based on these findings, the defendant surgeon did not immediately
re-operate with the intent of draining the abdominal cavity of the
fecal material. Further, he failed to provide the patient with a new
diverting stoma.

On March 27, 2001, the initial surgeon returned from vacation and
immediately resumed care of the plaintiff's decedent. He determined
that he had a severe anastomotic leak, accompanied by worsening
sepsis. On March 27, the initial surgeon performed an emergency
exploratory laparotomy and found both ends of the colonic
reanastomosis that had been performed by the defendant surgeon
had fallen apart from each other.

The initial surgeon performed a resection of the anastomotic
dehiscence, subtotal colectomy and end ileostomy. However, the
plaintiff's decedent was hemodynamically unstable and developed
adult respiratory distress syndrome. He suffered cardiac arrest on
March 28, 2001, and was unable to be resuscitated.  

Following the close of discovery, the parties negotiated a settlement
with the defendant surgeon, committing the limits of his malpractice
policy of $1,000,000, and the professional corporation contributing
an additional $470,000, for a total settlement of $1.470,000.

Contact Information
If you, your child or a member of your family have been injured as a
result of a postoperative complication, substandard postoperative
care, deficient medical treatment or failure to be properly treated,
please let
Dr. Borten and our Boston area medical malpractice
attorneys at Gorovitz & Borten evaluate your case.
For a free confidential consultation and receive a response within
24 hours (when possible), please contact us by phone, fax or e-mail
with your question or concern.

Telephone:  781-890-9095     -     Fax:   781-890-9098
                                                                      
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