After Matt Mc Cann was transported to the recovery room after back surgery in 2008. While hospital staff noted and documented a high heart rate, level of pain and distended belly. These symptoms continued unabated in spite of increased pain medication. It wasn’t until Mc Cann suffered cardiac arrest 36 hours later that doctors intervened to explore the issue.
According to court documents, doctors then discovered that a surgeon accidentally severed his vena cava and iliac arteries which led to massive internal bleeding, permanent impairment, and brain damage. The surgical patient had to endure two follow-up surgeries to repair the damage to the arteries and stem the internal bleeding.
At trial, Mc Cann’s lawyer asked the following sensible questions: “Wasn’t anyone concerned, the attorney asked, when the patient’s vital signs didn’t return to normal more than 24 hours after the surgery? Didn’t anyone notice his heart rate was high or that his belly was tender or that his pain didn’t seem to be responding to medication? Under what circumstances should a nurse call the doctor? What good does it do to chart a patient’s vital signs if no one is going to look at them?”
Good questions, indeed. However, good questions don’t undo the tremendous suffering and physical damage by hospital failures.
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