$1 Million Settlement for Surgical / Splenic Artery Aneurysm

A father/son surgical team will pay a $1,000,000 settlement to the surviving husband and two adult children of a 65-year-old Essex County woman.

This suit handled by the firm alleged that the decedent would have survived had the surgical team promptly diagnosed and repaired a splenic artery aneurysm when the plaintiff first was admitted to the hospital.

In September of 2008, the plaintiff-decent was transported by ambulance to the hospital with complaints of fainting, and chest pain radiating to the abdomen. A CT Scan of the abdomen and pelvis was performed which revealed blood in her abdomen and either a large splenic artery aneurysm or perhaps a pseudocyst. At the time of the initial surgery the team discovered “free blood throughout the entire abdomen” and encountered a “large mass approximately 4×6 inches” but they claimed it was a pancreatic pseudocyst, which was oozing blood from it’s walls. Although they also identified a splenic artery aneurysm, which they stated was intact, they failed to evaluate the likely source of all the blood, the large size of the splenic aneurysm or the urgent need to address it at that time. Instead, since it was the middle of night, the defendant-surgeons choose to wait until the morning to address it further, and they packed up and closed the surgical area.

However, in the recovery room the plaintiff become hypotensive and went into ventricular fibrillation. CPR was initiated and was successful in restoring a normal rhythm. The plaintiff was brought back into surgery where the defendant surgeons discovered several liters of blood and that the mass was now completely compressed and actively bleeding. At this time, a splenectomy and distal pancreatectomy were performed, as well as ligation of the splenic artery aneurysm. Had those procedures been done at the initial surgery as plaintiff’s experts opined, the patient would have survived. Unfortunately, after the second surgery, the plaintiff went into cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated.