Update: Patient left on operating table steps forward

Nurses Activism


  • Home Health Columnist / Guide
    Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Story gets jucier about Doc's "checkered past".

A Boston patient who was left for 35 minutes on an operating table while his surgeon went to the bank has stepped forward to say the hospital didn't tell him anything had gone wrong until weeks later.

Boston Globe, Aug. 15, 2002


nightingale, RN

2,404 Posts


Interesting article, as always your posts create much food for thought.

I seem to recall the obligation of the healthcare facility and professional standard to be mandated that patients are to be advised of problems or errors in their healthcare treatment. I remember a new law passed regarding this; was it sometime last year?

How callus of the DR. to be SO irresponsible. His life sounds like it is in such upheaval; one would think someone noticed other oddities precipitating this illegal event of leaving a patient on the operating table while he "went to the bank"! Geech!



1,326 Posts

Yesterday morning they interviewed the patient and his lawyer on "The Today Show". It's a shame that they did not tell the patient what happened and even worse that he kept going to his doctor!

The one thing that struck me in the interview was that the patient's lawyer said that the hospital handeled the situation extremly well up until after the surgery when they did not disclose what had happened during surgery.

The lawyer said that when the doctor left and did not return the OR Anesthesiologist contacted the Chief Anesthesiologist who then contacted the Chief of Surgery. They both went to the OR to see what was happening. No one was able to complete the surgery so the staff kept him stable and the two Chiefs told the the staff that the situation would be handled appropriately and to not mention anything to the Doctor when he returned because they did not want to upset him before completing the surgery as this might interfere with his ability to perform.

Then, the very next morning the doctor was reprimended and suspended.

Shame the hospital was handiling the situation well up to a point.


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

I smell "lawsuit."

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