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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Can You Sue Over a Cardiac Arrest During Surgery

    My question involves malpractice in the state of: MI

    Last week during my 2 level cervical fusion surgery I flatlined. I have a very clean health history - no BP or cholesterol problems, no heart problems and no previous surgeries, none, ever (56 yr old male). I was told in post-op by the surgeon that my heart stopped and they "thumped" me a few times and it restarted. He gave me no info on how long it was stopped or any other info at all. I was kept overnight on the heart floor for observation with a heart monitor on. Also had numerous blood draws. They told me that my heart looked good overnight and blood tests showed no damage done and I was released the next day.

    The day after I got home I called the surgeons office and requested the OR Report as I was interested in what EXACTLY went down in the OR. Within a few days I received a Operative Note", written by the surgeon, very well detailed throughout except I thought the part explaining what happened during my SCA is too vague as there is no time frame (how long was my heart stopped?) and no details on what sedation meds and reversal meds were used. I will paste this part of the report here below:

    " Hemostasis was obtained and a drain left in the bed of the wound. Closure was begun with Vicryl stitches on the platysma layer. At this point in the procedure the patient developed profound bradycardia that evolved into asystole. The wound was immediately reopened and there was no mass effect on the vagal nerve from hemotoma from the drain. This appearred to be a reaction to the reversal agent. Patient responded favorably to pharmacolgic management remained stable. Clousure was the carried out with Vicryl stitches and a drain was left in the bed of the wound and the skin was closed with Dermabond. The patient emerged from anesthesia without complication was evaluated in the recovery room where he was alert, oriented and had a normal motor exam."

    Is this the extent of the detail that I should be seeing on this "Operative Note" form? Where do I find the the specific anesthesia and reversal agents and other things that were used? Where is a report that includes the timeline of all that happened in the OR? Why no indication of "thumps" in this report? I will be checking with the anesthesia people tmrw for that info also - I hope they have it.

    I have spent several days since reading about what happened medically to me and what that leaves for my future and I have a million questions for my surgeon.

    I'm here looking for answers to the numerous questions littered throughout this post. Any help, thoughts, insight or answers is appreciated.
    Thank you people! peace

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,043

    Default Re: Sudden Cardiac Arrest -Asystole, During Cervical Fusion.i Lived

    What is your ultimate goal here?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Sudden Cardiac Arrest -Asystole, During Cervical Fusion.i Lived

    I want to make sure that my family and I can live comfortably if this event has long term or even 'possible' long term effects on my health. Right now my mental health is a complete mess. I cannot sleep - mostly because I am afraid that I will not wake up. I am in the discovery phase myself in learning where exactly my physical health is left at after this. But as far as mental health, they messed that up big time. So, a secure comfortable future if I cannot provide that myself, is my goal, if need be.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,126

    Default Re: Sudden Cardiac Arrest -Asystole, During Cervical Fusion.i Lived

    What makes you think there's anything to sue over here? People have reactions to drugs they've never had before all the time and it's not the doctor's fault nor is it likely the fault of the drug company.
    You have NO chance to 'self-help' your way through a case even if there is one here. If you have ongoing damange TO YOU, then contact a malpractice attorney for a read. He will know how to pursue the details.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
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    Default Re: Sudden Cardiac Arrest -Asystole, During Cervical Fusion.i Lived

    Quote Quoting UpNorth906
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    I want to make sure that my family and I can live comfortably if this event has long term or even 'possible' long term effects on my health. Right now my mental health is a complete mess. I cannot sleep - mostly because I am afraid that I will not wake up. I am in the discovery phase myself in learning where exactly my physical health is left at after this. But as far as mental health, they messed that up big time. So, a secure comfortable future if I cannot provide that myself, is my goal, if need be.
    The doctors didn't mess up your mental health. Things can happen during surgery, that's a well known fact and it's discussed, in detail, in the waiver(s) that you signed.

    Malpractice would require there to be negligence AND damages. From malpractice you will not get punitive damages or pain and suffering. Only actual damages.

    I recommend counseling, not a lawsuit. Counseling will have a better outcome and faster than a a medical malpractice suit that will net you nothing and could drag on for years.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Sudden Cardiac Arrest -Asystole, During Cervical Fusion.i Lived

    To determine if medical negligence occurred it will be necessary to have a malpractice firm review the entire record from the procedure, and even if medical negligence is found there may be some question as to whether mental distress in the absence of any residual physical injury is sufficient to justify litigation -- malpractice lawsuits are very expensive to bring.
    Quote Quoting UpNorth906
    View Post
    Is this the extent of the detail that I should be seeing on this "Operative Note" form?
    There is no legal standard defining how specific the surgical report must be.
    Quote Quoting UpNorth906
    Where do I find the the specific anesthesia and reversal agents and other things that were used?
    All of the medications used will be charted.
    Quote Quoting UpNorth906
    Where is a report that includes the timeline of all that happened in the OR?
    If there is one, it's part of your medical record.
    Quote Quoting UpNorth906
    Why no indication of "thumps" in this report?
    You will need to ask your doctor.
    Quote Quoting Mark47n
    View Post
    Things can happen during surgery, that's a well known fact and it's discussed, in detail, in the waiver(s) that you signed.
    The possibility of a cardiac arrest during anesthesia was almost certainly described when the clinic went through its informed consent procedures. If the patient signed an informed consent form, it's very difficult to believe that it would not have been described on the form.

    While it remains possible that a cardiac incident could be triggered by medical negligence, it does not automatically follow that a cardiac incident resulted from medical malpractice. Also, damages are a necessary element of any medical malpractice action, and damages from a cardiac incident that was followed by a complete recovery with no residual medical problems are not likely to support the cost of a malpractice lawsuit.
    Quote Quoting Mark47n
    From malpractice you will not get punitive damages or pain and suffering. Only actual damages.
    "Pain and suffering" is a form of actual damages -- non-economic damages.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,042

    Default Re: Sudden Cardiac Arrest -Asystole, During Cervical Fusion.i Lived

    You can get a copy of your medical records from the hospital. That should have the information about your heart afterwards. It should put your mind at ease. You can get an appointment with a cardiologist. Let them check you out. Hopefully that will add to your peace of mind.

    What you are experiencing is common after someone goes into cardiac arrest. You might want to consider counseling.

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