Fatal Damage to Liver From Biliary Drain

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Fatal Damage to Liver From Biliary Drain

by Ratso on Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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My husband died on Jan 5 @ 6:40 pm.after a whipple op on Dec 5th-the operation didn't kill him!!! about 28 hours after a 11 and1/2 hr surgery his biliary drain was noticed by SICU NURSES to not be in him anymore? No one knows how it came out!!!! He was very heavily medicated. on top of being very critcally ill from the damage to liver from drain this was a liverthat otherwise was healthy (no cancer or disease) all complications came from drain ripping into his liver He never came home from hospital andc suffered horribly fighting for his life, His liver stopped clotting and he literally bled to death. How can this happen Please help!! Did anyone ever hear of anything like this before? Please respond desperate for answers!!!!!!!

so Sorry...

by Sparks on Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:00 AM

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I've never heard of anything like this, but I'm going to ask around. I am so very sorry for your loss. Please know that I am thinking of you and your family and saying a prayer for all of you. I will try and find an answer for you.

Biliary Drain

by Shortyrock on Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:00 AM

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Having asked around, including 3 doctors I work with, this is a very rare situation. The Whipple Surgery was a success. He was doing well. First off, Whipple Surgery is extremely complicated. There are many complications possible. But, what happened in your case is disturbing. The drain came out? The doctor who put the drain in could be at fault. Was his liver strong enough to support the drain? Was it incorrectly positioned? In the first case it could be genetic (a weak liver), in the second case it could be an error on the part of the doctor. Did you get a second opinion prior to sugery? If so, were advanced liver tests performed? Did your husband go into septic shock, if so, what caused the infection? What disturbs me the most is that he bled to death. Today no one should EVER bleed to death, except of course, in cases of accidents. What hospital was this? I am very sorry for your loss, but if i were you, I would talk to a lawyer.

Biliary Drain

by Ratso on Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:00 AM

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They said nothing was wrong with his liver and 2 wks after the 1st drain came out they had special procedures put in another and this was still in place when he died. The reason he bled to death was because his liver stopped clotting (The liver controls this) and even though they wer pumping bags of blood into him they couldn't keep up with was coming out. The blood was pouring out of his original whipple wound which was opened up 3 more times before he died for bleeds (steming from liver). I was there when my husband died and believe me it was like a horror show blood was pouring out of him -the bed and his sides were soaked and it was puddling at his sides. The doctors said there was no way to save his life -I was begging them to do something but there wasn't anything they could do! Maybe one day I will talk to a lawyer but right now i am just looking for validation for my feelings. Some nurses and charge nurse thought I shouldn't be angry(can you believe) I'm watching my husband of 21 years suffering constantly or heavily sedatec and being rolled ervery 4 hours and watching my 9 yr old sob her eyes out at her fathers' bedside but I shouldn't be angry! And nver an apology for the drain totally ignored the subject. Please, I was there every day sometiimes 3-4 days in a row w/out going home, no one should ever leave a loved one around especially the helpless, very sick or old because sedation is the med of choice! Take Care- and let me know why you think no one should ever bleed to death now a days

Biliary Drain

by Shortyrock on Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:00 AM

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Of course, you should be angry about the drain, I would. That drain should have been carefully monitored. Any time a foreign body(the drain) is introduced into the body, complications are very possible (like rejection or as the liver healed it pushed the drain out). The liver has an amazing capacity to heal itself. During the healing process the drain could have been altered. Every ICU nurse should be aware of this. As far as the bleeding to death is concerned, what I meant was we have clotting medication that is used for this purpose. I'm sure his body could not have tolerated another surgery to repair whatever damage was done, but did they administer clotting medication? Internal bleeding is tricky. It could happen at any time after surgery, but to the extent you describe is rare. In fact, I've never seen it. Something went terribly wrong. His liver could have been perfectly healthy, but not strong enough to support the drain. A weak liver does not indicate liver problems. It would be like having a perfectly constructed table, put too much weight on it and the table crumbles. It appears that even though the original surgery was a success, it seems to be the whipple surgery that started the onset of many problems. The doctor who performed the surgery, how many of these surgeries has he successfully completed? Bleeding to death is rare in a case such as this. Someone did something terribly wrong. Did he have a blood infection? If so, that would have added to his bleeding problem. It seems to me that everything that could go wrong in this case, went wrong. Were these possibilities ever discussed prior to surgery? No one should ever go into MAJOR surgery without knowing every possible complication, even those extremely unlikely. I'm sure this hospital; these nurses; these doctors learned a very important lesson. Hopefully, this will never happen to anyone again. I know that doesn't make you feel better, but if the medical staff learned something because of this and a life is saved your husband did not die in vain.

Biliary Drain

by Ratso on Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:00 AM

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He was on factor 7 for clotting problem this only works when liver is funtioning somewhat his liver stopped working not clotting at all (I think this is how they explained it) and no he didn't have a weak liver his liver was ripped apart from a METAL pigtail shape drain and this drain ripped apart his liver upon unatural removal. The surgeon told me the whipple didn't have anything to do with his complications. it was the neglect of the SURGICAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT His surgeon stated this to me. We had an excellent surgeon in a sopposedly excellent hospital We did our homework and made a good choice the surgery was a success. Since you know doctors ask them about this type of biliary drain that is put in by a specially trained doctor through radiology. I already knopw that his comlications were because of the DAMAGE to his liver from DRAIN. Can't wait to hear back, Thanks

Biliary Drain

by Shortyrock on Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:00 AM

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I spoke to a well respected doctor and he told me that when a liver is severly damaged there are only 2 possible methods to save a person's life. 1. Is a liver transplant. But, it is unlikely that your husband would have been a suitable candidate. Because of the Whipple Surgery he would have never survived another Major operation. Even if he could have they would have never been able to find a liver in time. I enclosed 2 articles on the subject. As far as the drain coming out this doctor is 99.9% certain it was because of hospital error, or as he said, " that just doesn't happen." Hopefully this help, here are the articles: Murray DH Jr, Borge JD, Pouteau GG. Many methods have been described for control of bleeding from the liver. We have found that the technique of simply securing a 2 1/2 cm (1-in) Penrose drain as a tourniquet around the left or right lobe of the liver is a rapid and effective method of obtaining hemostasis. The tourniquet can be used to temporaily control bleeding so individual points can be secured, or tied down onto the liver and removed later. This method has been used without complications in five patients with severe liver trauma. Serial liver function studies obtained on all patients found no significant alterations in any. Clinical features. Fulminant hepatic failure impairs all liver functions, causing decreased bilirubin metabolism (jaundice), decreased clearance of ammonia and gut-derived proteins (encephalopathy), and decreased clotting factor production (coagulopathy ). It may also cause kidney failure (such as hepatorenal syndrome respiratory failure (due to infection, water accumulation, or inflammation of the lungs), shock (severe fall in blood pressure), and sepsis (systemic infection, probably a result of decreased clearance of portal bacteria by the liver). Without a liver transplant, more than 50% of patients will die, usually from a combination of the above conditions. However, if patients survive without transplantation, their livers may regenerate to normal functional capacity, especially if the liver was healthy before failure began

Biliary Drain

by Ratso on Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:00 AM

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Hi I sent for my hubands medical records because the description you provided for liver failure is almost exactly what my husband went through step by step even to the point of his liver going from black to pink when they went back in for another bleed about a week before he died. I mean he suffered and they had to know he was most likely going to die because of his weakened state going through the whipple surgery. But they kept everything hush hush. I'm just starting to put the pieces of the puzzle back together(thanks for your HELP). I mean he died because of that drain coming out and the page of records from that night state that he was in alot of pain(We addressed his pain to nurse at 11:3o p.m. this was 51/2/ hours before drain ws found on floor. In chart @ 2am nurse saw site leaking and put dressing on it. It was never leaking before and didn;t have any dressing on it - and called resident. Next note at 3 patient sleeping and then at 5 am noticed drain out and bile all over floor. Did blood work and at 6 am called My husbands surgeon. Why at 2am when leaking didn't they become more concerned? This is supposed to be a highly trained staff with 2 patients to a nurse. I,m so confused and full of pain and really want my husbands death certificate changed to the real reason he died. This message really isn't a message at all just a place for me to vent to someone who understands medical and emotional feelings i am having. Thanks again, and any input you have is always welcomed.

You Are Correct

by Shortyrock on Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:00 AM

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It was quite obvious that your husband was in the final stages of liver failure. The Whipple Surgery could not biologically cause that. The drain coming out is what caused it. To continue advanced treatment when your husband was in such a weakened state was inhumane. The outcome was a given. You have every right to vent. This was a textbook case of hospital negligence. Malpractice is very difficult to prove, even in the best of circumstances. However, planning legal action is a very personal matter. I would, if you choose this path, file a wrongful death suit. The chances of winning are much greater. Doctors, nurses, hospitals need to be held accountable for their actions. Sadly, most people do not want to go through such an emotional situation and it is extremely emotional. But, if you have the emotional strength to do so, then I would. We put our lives in these people's hands. We trust them. We give them an almost God-like power and when they abuse our trust we feel violated. God bless you & whatever you do, do it for the right reasons.
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