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Post Surgical Hematoma

Been the victim of Medical Malpractice or fighting a malpractice suit? Discuss it here.

Post Surgical Hematoma

Postby Carrol » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:30 am

My mother had an inguinal hernia repair 1.25 years. ago. She is on prophylactic anticoagulants and post surgery she was placed on heparin. On the first day post op she began to run a fever and had severe abdominal pain. Over the course of the next few days she was admitted to critical care unit and was transfused with 9-10 units of blood. I was informed by surgeon that she would be taken off heparin. This of course slowed the bleeding and the thought was that everything would be fine. A day or two later she was put back on the heparin an of course started to bleed again. After about a week of this off and on again treatment I talked to another surgeon in the group who informed me that he would look into this. The next day the second surgeon informed me that a vessel in her abdomen had been cut. She then received, I think a coil or something of that effect that blocked the nick and thus stopped the bleeding for good. The problem is that for the past 1.25 years. she has had a hematoma in her abdomen that has prevented her from leading what I would consider a normal life. The initial surgeon assured her it would go away and return to normal. It Has not. She is in constant pain and the only relief is fentynel patch. The surgeon has basically discharged her from his care and sent her to a pain specialist to deal with the pain. While the patch works for the pain, there is another problem. She has difficulty eating and voiding. I have talked to several general surgeons who have informed me that at this time there is probably nothing that can be done now. They have told me that a few weeks post op that it could have been removed, but now the risk of infection or more severe bleeding and damage to the bowel outway the benefits. Can you help?

ANSWER: Your mother is paying the price for too many medical interventions. You should talk to a couple of medical malpractice lawyers to see what they have to offer. Why was your mother on anticoagulants prior to her surgery? How long was she off coagulants prior to the surgery, or was she taken off at all? If after surgery she had 9 to 10 transfusions, why the delay in searching for the cause? Cutting a blood vessedl is not O.K., and should have been avoided during surgery. The hematoma is probably a result of that 'cutting' of a blood vessel, and should have been treated at the time. The care sounds as if everyone treating your mother has had a different approach and that maybe no discussion was held during which they all could agree on an approach. My guess is that the 'second' surgeon is more or less a supervisor in that group. Is this a teaching hospital? You may have trouble finding a lawyer willing to help, but keep at it. ---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thank you for your return answer. She is on the anticoagulants for a mitral valve replacements. I actually work in the operating room department where the surgery took place. The second surgeon is not a supervisor I believe he is actually a junior partner, but was obviously nice enough to look into the problem. He ordered an ultrasound and ct, and I do not understand why the original surgeon did not do this. She was off the anticoagulants the required time to get her inr within limits to preform the operation. As for the delay I have no idea. This is what was so frustrating to me. The hospital is not a teaching hospital. While working in the hospital I understand certain things that many do not, however I feel that the surgeons approach to the post op treatment or lack there of is the underlying problem. This group does between 10 and 20 operations a day and I feel that the number of cases that the surgeon has performed makes them a little careless in some instances. Thank you for your advice.
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Post Surgical Hematoma

Postby tearley4 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:14 am

Your follow-up gives me some more information. I think you have to think about doctor fatigue, a major cause of malpractice. Of course the post operative care was poor. If a hematoma formed, it was the responsibility of the surgeon not only to correct it, but to locate the cause. The hematoma should have been diagnosible within hours of surgery. No excuse there. You may be reluctant to sue, but lawsuits are the ONLY way anyone takes notice of lousy medical care and/or makes any  effort to change procedures or schedules. That group of doctors had better arrange their work for the patient's safety and not merely to enhance profits.
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