Doctor Turns to YouTube to Learn Surgical ProcedureJuly 17, 2018
After suffering an allergic reaction that caused his tongue and throat to swell, a South Carolina man went to the Union Medical Center. His condition worsened, and he eventually had trouble breathing. The doctor performed a cricothyrotomy to help the patient breathe, but the patient went into cardiac arrest during the procedure and suffered fatal injuries. It was discovered later that the doctor learned how to do the procedure by watching a YouTube video prior to operating on the patient. The family of the deceased man is suing the doctor for medical malpractice.
A cricothyrotomy is an emergency procedure that is performed when an endotracheal intubation is unsuccessful, which was the case when the doctor first began treating the patient. Unfortunately, rather than consult with other doctors, or calling in another physician who had performed cricothyrotomies on other patients, the doctor proceeded after watching an instructional video on YouTube.
After the patient’s heart stopped, the doctor and medical staff in the room attempted chest compressions to open his airways until the doctor directed his staff to stop. According to the lawsuit, the substandard care provided by the doctor, as well as his decision to discontinue chest compressions, were the cause of the patient’s fatality.
Negligent Physician with a Shady Record
In addition to this troubling incident, it was discovered that the doctor had a criminal history. He was arrested for a misdemeanor assault in Virginia approximately 10 years ago. The victim’s family was troubled by this discovery, as well as his negligent behavior in the operating room. The lawsuit alleges that the doctor failed to provide the appropriate medical treatment, which caused a great deal of pain and suffering, and eventually the untimely passing of the patient. Specifically, the lawsuit states that the doctor failed to do the following:
- Recognize, accurately diagnose, and quickly treat the patient’s condition
- Transfer the patient to a specialized facility in a timely manner
- Properly intubate the patient to establish an airway and restore breathing
Cricothyrotomies can be life-saving procedures for patients with a failed airway, but they are rarely performed. When they are, it is important that the healthcare professional is very familiar with the equipment and medical instruments necessary for the procedure, as well as the relevant anatomy. It is recommended that emergency clinicians practice the procedure several times a year to stay current on the latest and safest techniques.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Victims of Medical Negligence
If you have been injured or became ill because of a medical mistake or the negligent actions of a medical professional, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. When you put your life in the hands of a health care provider, and that trust is violated, it is in your best interest to take legal action. Our skilled and dedicated team will protect your rights and hold the negligent party responsible for his or her actions. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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