An Illinois heart surgeon, who encountered a malfunctioning defibrillator during an emergency coronary artery bypass operation, advised the patient’s family to “see an attorney” following the surgery at Belleville Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Illinois on November 11, 2003.
The patient, William Carvelot, who survived the surgery but who allegedly suffered neurological problems as a result of oxygen deprivation, took his doctor’s advice and sued both the hospital and the doctor himself.
According to the complaint, Dr. Bill Daily performed the emergency coronary artery bypass when Carvelot went into ventricular fibrillation and had difficulty breathing. CPR was initiated and lasted more than 15 minutes.
During that time, defibrillation was attempted but the machine did not work. The complaint claims that the machine was not programmed properly: its synch mode was incorrect, the paddles did not work and the plug malfunctioned. Carvelot was eventually resuscitated; however, the defibrillator never did work.
Carvelot alleges that, as a result of being deprived of oxygen to the brain, he has suffered problems with his memory, can no longer drive since he lost peripheral vision, has problems with anger and suffers from depression. He and his wife, who is also is seeking damages for the loss of her husband’s affection, companionship and services, are seeking compensation in excess of $250,000.