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Widow claims surgical errors, not heart attack, killed husband

Unfortunately, not every patient checking into an Oregon hospital for a surgical procedure leaves alive. Some of them die of surgical complications that fall within the risks of the procedure and/or natural causes. Others, however, die due to surgical errors.

A widow was told that her husband died of a heart attack, which would be considered natural causes, just days after undergoing a procedure. She claims to have found out later that the hospital in her area where her husband died lied to her. Now, she has filed a medical malpractice suit against the hospital where the procedure took place and the doctors who attended to him.

The victim underwent a procedure to have a goiter removed. The next day, on March 10, 2012, his wife was told that he suffered a heart attack. He subsequently died on March 18, 2012 without ever leaving the Illinois hospital. When she obtained a copy of his medical records in Dec. 2013, she discovered that an error occurred during her husband's goiter removal that is believed to be the true cause of his death. Somehow, his airway was obstructed during the surgery.

As would be the case here in Oregon, the widow will be responsible for establishing that surgical errors led to her husband's death, and not the alleged heart attack she was told that he suffered. If she is successful, the court may consider awarding her the damages she seeks. In addition to the potential monetary restitution, she may also achieve a sense of justice for her husband and bring to light the fact that the there was an attempted cover up of the true cause of her husband's death.

Source:, "Wife alleges Oak Park hospital's surgical error cost her husband his life", Robert Hadley, Dec. 17, 2015

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