Death following stent placement
A 19-year-old Indiana college student underwent a kidney transplant and was scheduled to undergo an additional operation to place a stent in the transplanted kidney. Prior to the scheduled surgery, he developed flu-like symptoms with fever, chills, weakness, fatigue, and diarrhea. He was taken by ambulance to the ER the next day for treatment. His hospitalization raised the issue of whether his stent placement surgery should be postponed. The urologist decided that the surgery should proceed and performed the stent surgery the next day.
During the procedure, the patient became hypotensive and required vasopressors. Later in the recovery room, he went into cardiac arrest. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.
The patient’s estate presented the case to a medical review panel. The estate was critical of the urologist’s decision not to delay the non-emergent surgery.
The review panel issued a unanimous opinion that the urologist’s treatment of the patient did not constitute a breach of the applicable standard of care. The urologist denied all allegations. Nevertheless, the estate proceeded to trial and the jury returned a defense verdict.
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