Anesthesiologist Found Liable for Botched Heart Surgery

Anesthesiologist found liable for botched heart surgeryA Rhode Island Superior Court jury recently found anesthesiologist Charles Schwartz liable for about $500,000 in a medical malpractice lawsuit regarding a botched heart surgery performed on plaintiff Paul Oden.

Paul Oden was scheduled to replace his mitral heart valve in 2004 at Rhode Island hospital, the Providence Journal reports. The surgeon Dr. Arun Singh performed the procedure.

Five weeks after the surgery, Oden allegedly began to experience heart problems. His medical malpractice attorney claimed that these problems were caused by a suture from the mitral valve operation catching a leaflet of the aortic valve, thereby preventing it from functioning properly. Due to this, Oden allegedly needed an aortic valve replacement.

Singh and the hospital were named as defendants in the case, but were dismissed from the medical malpractice lawsuit. Anesthesiologist Schwartz, however, was found to be liable for $500,000. According to the plaintiff's attorney, it was Schwartz's task to inspect the surgical site for leaks or tears, and he signed a form claiming that there were no such problems, according to the news source.

Schwartz's attorney has said that the case "will, in all probability, be appealed."