Cause of Death Disputed in Medical Malpractice Case

Medical Malpractice

Steve Kenan died in 2013 after an interventional cardiac catheterization. The interesting facts of this case are that the doctor who performed the procedure was paid $300,000 annually to do procedures at the hospital (St. Anthony’s Hospital/St. Petersburg and owned by BayCare) but was doing procedures at 5 other hospitals. After the procedure, the doctor who performed Kenan’s procedure left the hospital and went to another hospital to treat an emergency. The plaintiff claims that, after the doctor left, there was no cardiologist who saw Kenan even after his blood pressure had plummeted. The lawsuit says that the nurses were given instructions by phone but delayed in executing them for more than an hour. Kenan died three hours after the procedure.

Suspicion Surrounding Case Of Death

Three autopsies were performed on Kenan. The first autopsy was done by another doctor at the hospital being sued and did not identify a cause of death. The second autopsy was performed by an expert hired by the plaintiff and found a puncture wound to the heart as well as parts from a needle and guide wire. A third autopsy was performed at the request of the hospital that found no evidence of perforation or the metal parts. That doctor’s opinion was that it was extremely unlikely that a perforation occurred in that location and that, if the heart had been perforated in that spot, then Kenan would have bled out in minutes as opposed to hours. The judge in this case was reported to have been taken aback by the fact that there were such widely varying autopsy results.

How Can Medical Examiners Reach Different Conclusions As To The Cause Of Death?

This case is quite odd in that the autopsy results are so different. You have to wonder how two autopsies performed for the hospital did not find a puncture and the metal pieces. While you can say that a plaintiff’s expert might possibly be motivated by bias, the sorts of things that each claims they found or did not find goes far beyond any bias. The metal parts were either present or they were not. You would think that both sides would have taken photographs or video as the procedures were done as evidence of their findings.

Talk To A Lakeland Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Case

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August 19, 2016