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Equipment Failure During Nephrectomy Leads to Vision Loss & Renal Failure

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Equipment Failure During Nephrectomy Leads to Vision Loss & Renal Failure

Related to: Clinical Guidelines, Diagnosis, Surgery

Specialty:

Category:

Defendant:    

Plaintiff:

Result: 

Urology

Surgery

Urologist

Patient and Spouse

Defense Verdict

A 61-year-old male with a history of prostate cancer and prostatectomy was found to have a renal mass on a CT scan obtained for staging. A laparoscopic left-radical nephrectomy was performed, during which the patient’s aorta was injured. This resulted in a massive hemorrhage and the need to convert to an open procedure. The injury was repaired; however, there was global ischemic injury with postoperative renal failure and rhabdomyolysis. The patient also suffered permanent vision loss in the right eye, secondary to ischemic optic neuropathy.

The patient and his spouse sued the urologist, alleging that he failed to properly identify the structure to be ligated before applying the stapling device. They alleged that, as a result, the urologist negligently lacerated the infrarenal aorta with the vascular stapling device.

During trial, the defense presented evidence that the urologist identified the correct structure, and the injury was the result of a problem with the device. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense.


September 11, 2015
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