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Anesthesia Error Caused Wrongful Death after Kidney Surgery

Multimillion-dollar recovery for the family of an Armstrong County man who died at a UPMC hospital after a "successful" kidney transplant surgery. Although the transplant went well, the patient's anesthesia and fluid intake was not properly controlled during the surgery and, as a result, his lungs were overcome with fluid, and he suffered a respiratory arrest.

Our client's husband had suffered kidney damage for a few years and, finally, after being on the transplant list for a few years, an organ was obtained for the husband. Naturally, the family was elated. The patient went into surgery and the transplant itself went fine, but other problems developed in the operating room. Many surgeries involve a lot of blood loss and, therefore, it is the job of an anesthesiologist to compensate for that by administering fluids to the patient during the surgery. If a patient does not have enough fluid on board, his or her blood pressure can drop to dangerously low levels. On the other hand, if the patient is given too much fluid he or she can develop breathing problems as a result of "fluid in the lungs." In this case, as soon as the surgery was over, this man started to develop very serious breathing problems, yet they still removed him from the ventilator and sent him to the recovery room. He died just a few hours later in the recovery room due to those breathing problems.

We retained an expert anesthesiologist who was very experienced in transplant cases and, after reviewing the records, he indicated that the anesthesia team had "fluid overloaded" the patient during the surgery and that is why his lungs stopped functioning.

This was a very sad and tragic turn of events for a family that was looking forward to a "new lease on life" for their father and husband. Ironically, the surgery that was supposed to make him better ended up costing him his life.

The damages that are claimed in this sort of wrongful death case include future earnings of the husband as well as the wife's loss of society and companionship of her husband, and the young children's loss of the "guidance and tutelage" of their father. As we often say in these situations, money is no substitute for the loss of a spouse or a father, but at a minimum, it provided financial security to this devastated family.


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Anesthesiologist Error Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyer 866-757-6585 If you have had the experience of an anesthesia error, contact The Law Offices of Gismondi & Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for representation.

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