Contemporary SurgeryMALPRACTICE MINUTE
Vena cava punctured during hernia repair253
Liable or not? You decide
A 43-year-old man had a laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair.
The patient’s vena cava was punctured during the procedure, which required an open repair. The patient suffered 70% blood loss.
The patient required months of recovery, during which he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and possible brain damage with cognitive deficits.
The surgeon used an improper technique in directing the trocar and failed to insufflate the abdomen for the operation.
The operation did not require insufflation, and the vena cava puncture was a known complication of the procedure.
Case excerpted from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements and Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, Nashville, TN (www.verdictslaska.com).
Answer to May’s MALPRACTICE MINUTE:
Ductal carcinoma diagnosed 11 months after negative biopsy
ONLINE POLL: LIABLE, 56%; NOT LIABLE, 44%
VERDICT: The case was settled for $450,000