Even with the best conditions and treatment, circumstances – especially those involving medical care and the human body – can sometimes take a turn for the worst. That was the message an attorney for Einstein Medical Center was trying toget across to a Pennsylvania jury as he defended the hospital system against claims that one of its patients received improper post-operative care following a risky procedure to address the patient’s pancreatic cancer…..law.com, ‘We Can’t Control Everything’: This Attorney Used the Pandemic’s Unpredictability to Help Win a MedMal Defense Verdict, Max Mitchell, 2021.
The strategy eventually paid off, with the jury returning a defense verdict July 22 in the case Azeff v. Zaki. The verdict came after a five-day trial in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Ann Butchart’s courtroom. According to Samms, the jury deliberated for 40 minutes.
Daniel Azeff underwent a Whipple procedure, which is a procedure to remove a portion of the pancreas. Following the procedure, his condition deteriorated. He suffered from abdominal fluid collection and became unresponsive. He was successfully resuscitated and intubated, but he allegedly subsequently developed sepsis and underwent an explorative surgery, where a colon perforation was suspected.
However, his condition continued to decline, according to the memo, and he underwent another exploratory surgery three days later, which showed that one of the connection procedures was found to have failed. The connection had to be redone, the memo said, and after a while, Azeff’s condition began to improve.
The plaintiff accused the defendant, Dr. Radi Zaki of breaching the standard of care by failing to recognize the perforation at the surgery, failing to recognize that the problematic connection area had been “oversewn,” and failing to perform the revision surgery during the first exploratory surgery.
Where did the pandemic affect the outcome ? Did it influence the Drs logic or performance or affect the patient response to the procedure?