Tulane Lakeside Hospital sued for allegedly ignoring patient's blood clot, destroying records

By Andrey Burin | May 28, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – A man undergoing a knee replacement at Tulane-Lakeside Hospital is suing his surgeon and the hospital claiming that his doctor failed to recognize post-surgical damage to his artery and that staff at Tulane-Lakeside altered or deleted his medical records to make it look like tests were conducted that was in fact not true.

Arthur Roberts filed suit against Thomas Reed Lyons M.D., University Healthcare System and Tulane-Lakeside Hospital in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on April 28.

The plaintiff claims that he underwent a total knee replacement surgery on Oct. 2, 2012 at Tulane-Lakeside. He states that during the course of surgery, his physician damaged an artery and shut off blood flow to his left leg. He further states that the nursing staff discovered within 15 minutes of the surgery's conclusion that he had classic signs of a damaged artery and contacted his doctor, who allegedly returned three and a half hours later, despite being informed of the discovery of damage. He subsequently had to undergo vascular by-pass surgery to treat the damage.

After ultimately being released from the hospital's care, Roberts contends that an employee of the hospital created notes claiming that an ultrasound had been performed immediately post-surgery.

The lawsuit claims that a medical review panel convened to review the case on Feb. 11 reached an opinion in favor of the hospital based primarily on the fact that standards of care require an ultrasound as part of the examination for arterial damage. The plaintiff alleges that this opinion should be disregarded because the panel did not review any evidence of an ultrasound actually having taken place at the hospital.

The defendant physician is accused of falling below the applicable standard of care in treating the patient and the Tulane-Lakeside and Tulane University Medical Center, as owners of those facilities, are accused of being liable for their respective staffs negligent and intentional acts.

The plaintiff seeks an unspecified amount in damages for legal fees and general relief for damages.

The plaintiff is represented by M.H. Gertler, Louis L. Gertler and Helen H. Babin of New Orleans-based Gertler Law Firm LLP.

This case has been assigned to Div. M Judge Paulette R. Irons.

Case no. 2015-04037.

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