The errors made between 2016 and 2020 caused serious complications and at least one death.
A surgeon in the state of Florida, who caused hundreds of serious injuries due to a progressive neurological disorder while his hospital ignored the complaints of his victims for years, has been sued by numerous patients, reports NBC News.
According to the lawsuits, between 2016 and 2020, orthopedic surgeon Richard David Heekin made numerous errors during operations, including fractures, tendon ruptures, and severed nerves, leading to serious complications that left many patients needing revision surgeries and at least one woman lost her life.
All of this occurred in the context of their Patient noted that he had “difficulty with balance, inability to concentrate, outbursts of anger, erratic behavior, gait disturbances, and impaired judgment and mood,” and repeatedly reported him to the administration of l Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital, where he worked until he finished his degree in 2020, after voluntarily retiring.
It is worth noting that, according to a 2020 study, Heekin primarily performed knee and hip replacement surgeries, which generally do not have a high rate of serious complications for patients. However, among the doctor’s alleged victims were patients whose operation left one leg shorter than the other due to incorrect femoral component size selection, as well as serious nerve damage.
One of the most serious complications caused the death of 70-year-old Lucinda Bonk in September 2018. It is reported that during a hip replacement, which took longer than anticipated as Heekin allegedly broke her femur, the The woman’s vital signs began to decline. According to his death certificate, the cause of death was complications from a femur fracture.
According to court documents, Heekin suffers from progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disorder that causes serious problems with walking, keeping balance, and moving the eyes, and which worsens over time.
However, it is not yet proven that hospital officials were aware of your state. It is reported that despite several doctors and nurses expressing concern to the administration about the surgeon’s condition, the hospital continued to “force at least one nurse, who asked not to be in the operating room with him, to continue operating on Heekin when knew it was a risk to patient safety”.
So far 350 lawsuits have been filed against Heekin and the hospital, while by the end of the year it is expected that There are at least 100 more, Daniel Harwin, a representative for the victims, told NBC News. The first trial is scheduled for August 2023.