Tulane Medical Center sued following paralysis, death of patient

By Andrey Burin | Apr 10, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – The son and wife of a deceased New Orleans man are suing the cardiologist who treated him as well as the Tulane University Health Sciences Center, claiming medical malpractice.

Jean R. Schmidt and Rudolph R. Schmidt, individually and on behalf of the Estate of the late Rudolph J. Schmidt, filed suit against the Tulane Health Sciences Center and Salman A. Arain M.D. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on March 2, 2015.

The plaintiffs assert Schmidt was a patient of the defendant's starting March 17, 2011 and was being treated for end stage renal disease and hypertension at the Tulane Medical Center. They claim Schmidt consulted with the defendant in order for pre-operative examination prior to a scheduled renal transplant, at which point he informed the doctor of his hemophiliac condition and his need for an infusion prior to his catheterization. The plaintiffs assert that the doctor told him that this treatment was unnecessary and failed to consult with a hemophiliac specialist to validate this decision.

The plaintiffs claim that Schmidt subsequently underwent unsuccessful nerve surgery that was allegedly necessitated by the defendant's failure to recognize the need for an infusion. Following discharge from the hospital, they assert that he was unable to continue work due to hand paralysis and eventually passed away following another hospitalization at Tulane Medical Center.

The defendant is accused of medical malpractice in failing to consult with Tulane hemophilia staff, failing to administer the needed infusion, failing to properly monitor and maintain the conditions of the patient's hand and arm and performing a contraindicated neurolysis that was used for pain relief by blocking nerve signals .

The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount in damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental distress, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of earning capacity.

The plaintiff is represented by Harry T. Widmann of Metairie-based Harry T. Widmann & Associates.

This case has been assigned to Division B Judge Regina H. Woods.

Case no. 2015-01906.

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