In a truly alarming case of medical malpractice, a surgeon from California is now facing a lawsuit after court documents say the man left the operating room before finishing the surgical procedure.

The lawsuit says that Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry left the operating room, and even the hospital itself, while he was in the middle of performing an open-heart procedure on 72-year-old Silvino Perez. The unimaginable decision left Perez in a vegetative state which he has remained in ever since the surgery. Perez’s wife, Maria Alvarez, and his stepson have field a medical malpractice suit against Dr. Chaudhry, seeking financial compensation for the doctor’s egregious behavior.

The lawsuit says that Perez was taken into surgery back in April of 2012 so that Dr. Chaudhry could repair an aortic aneurysm, a serious problem that can lead to rupture and death if untreated. Rather than finish the procedure properly, Dr. Chaudhry is accused of leaving the operating room before Perez was in stable condition. Perez’s chest had not even been fully closed before Dr. Chaudhry left. After his exit, Perez’s heart stopped, he continued bleeding and eventually lost oxygen. Perez eventually had to be placed on life support.

The lawsuit notes that the incident was investigated by state officials last year and resulted in a $75,000 fine being levied against the hospital that employed Dr. Chaudhry. The hospital so far refuses to comment on the malpractice lawsuit, but says it has implemented some important changes to surgical procedures following last year’s investigation.

Dr. Chaudhry’s role in the case was only revealed last year when an anonymous tipster called state investigators and left a message saying that the surgeon had not been in the operating when Perez’s condition deteriorated. State safety investigators say that Dr. Chaudhry’s decision to leave the OR during the surgery violated clear hospital rules that prevent a surgeon from leaving a surgery before the patient is in stable condition. The physician’s assistant who remained in the room with Perez was simply not qualified to handle the patient’s fragile physical condition and was soon overwhelmed by Perez’s declining health. Though a surgeon was eventually called back into the OR, it was too late for Perez who had already suffered irreparable harm.

The lawsuit notes that Dr. Chaudhry was one of the busiest heart surgeons in California prior to the deadly accident. Records revealed that he was one of the top five cardiac surgeons according to the number of surgeries performed in 2010. Though being busy is good, it can be deadly when doctors are pulled in so many directions that they are unable to devote their full attention to the patients on the table in front of them. The hope is that this tragic case provides a valuable lesson to other doctors who decide to slow down and give each patient the care and concern they deserve. 

Here’s a YouTube video where one of our attorneys discusses important information about Virginia medical malpractice claims: