Surgical Negligence Causes Permanent Brain Damage

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on October 30, 2017

Neurosurgery Expert WitnessThis case takes place California and involves a female patient who underwent a craniotomy. Post-op, the patient was found to have confusion, difficulty speaking, and was unable to read or write. The patient returned immediately to the OR. After this second surgery, the patient was transferred to the ICU for monitoring. Doctors followed up with extensive imaging studies of the patient’s brain, as well as observation of her behavior. Several days after the procedure, the patient was found to be less responsive, and additional imaging revealed the presence of a brain bleed. The patient was taken back to the OR, where she underwent an awake craniectomy to allow the brain to swell and ensure doctors could test her speech responses. It is alleged that the neurosurgeon drilled into the patient’s brain during the original procure.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely treat patients and perform the procedure similar to the one described in the case? Please explain your qualifications.
  • 2. Have you ever had a patient develop the outcome described in the case? If so, please explain.
  • 3. Are you able to review the records on behalf of the plaintiff and opine on causation?

Expert Witness Response E-006274

I routinely treat patients with subdural hematomas. I am a board-certified neurosurgeon with 15 years of experience post residency There are many potential complications with this procedure, including the intracerebral hemorrhage that developed after the burr hole drainage. This could be the result of the surgery and is a known risk. However, it does not happen often. There might be contributing factors that could have helped prevent it. This outcome has not presented to me personally. This case is right in my area of expertise and I am glad to assist.

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