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Kaiser Blamed|for Punctured Heart

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - "Massive blood loss" ensued when a Kaiser surgeon punctured a patient's heart while removing a benign tumor, she claims in an Alameda County Court complaint.

Lourdes Oster sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc., Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Ashish Patel, M.D. for medical malpractice.

According to the lawsuit, a surgeon caused hemorrhaging by puncturing the apex of Oster's heart while performing laparoscopic surgery to remove a benign tumor. The apex is the bottom tip of the heart.

"As a consequence, she suffered several clots and strokes resulting in Ms. Oster suffering a serious brain injury, greatly diminished vision and short-term memory loss," the complaint states.

To top it off, when Oster needed an IV because of massive blood loss, it "was inadvertently and carelessly placed in her artery instead of a vein, which has resulted in neurologic and vascular injury to her upper extremity, gangrene and amputation of a finger," according to the complaint.

Beyond "the grave and permanent physical injuries, Ms. Oster has suffered and continues to suffer serious emotional distress."

Lourdes Oster seeks compensatory damages for wages loss, hospital and medical expenses, general damages, loss of earning capacity and prejudgment interest. She is represented by Steven J. Brewer of Gwilliam, Ivaray, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer in Oakland.


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