What should have been a routine laparoscopic surgery has proved fatal for Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania. The 77-year-old died from complications when doctors “hit his intestines” during the minimally invasive gallbladder procedure at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. His intestine was damaged and an infection developed.
Murtha has been the Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District Representative since 1974 and was number eight in the chamber in terms of seniority. He was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to the US Congress. In 2005, he shocked Washington when he called for the US to withdraw from Iraq.
Murtha leaves behind his wife and three children.
Maryland Surgical Malpractice
If doctors made a medical mistake that caused Murtha’s health complications, the congressman’s family may have grounds for filing a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and the medical professionals involved in the gallbladder surgery.
Laparascopic gallbladder surgery
Laparascopic gallbladder surgery involves the removal of the gallbladder without having to open the abdominal cavity. During this minimally invasive procedure, a small incision is made and a trocar is inserted. A video camera and small surgical tools are inserted using the trocar so the surgery can be conducted. Surgeons can watch the surgery on a monitor that airs what the video camera inside the body is recording.
It is important that a surgeon cut or clip in the right places in order to safely remove the gallbladder. Cutting the wrong anatomical part can cause serious injury or death. Other serious side effects include bile peritonitis, bile leakage, abscess, cholangitis, and infection.
Surgeons can be held liable for Maryland surgical malpractice if their medical mistake, carelessness, or recklessness causes personal injury or wrongful death to a patient.
Congressman: Murtha’s intestine damaged in surgery, Washington Post, February 8, 2010
Rep. John Murtha dies after surgery complications, CNN, February 8, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Laparascopic gallbladder surgery, FamilyDoctor.org
Medical Malpractice, Justia
Contact our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen today.