We represented the family of a respected member of a Northwest Native American tribe, who died from uncontrolled blood loss in the hospital following routine, elective back surgery. The surgeon documented significant, prolonged bleeding during the surgery and, although the surgeon believed he had stanched the bleeding by the end of the operation, his patient continued to bleed in the recovery room.
For over two hours, the nurses documented the blood loss and our client’s severely low blood pressure, but did not, we argued, do enough to address it. When the surgeon finally prepared to take our client back to surgery to look for the source of the profound blood loss, we calculated that our client had lost around 80-90% of his total blood volume with only a fraction replaced. He died before he reached the operating room.