Doc Changed Record to Downplay Bleeding, Family Claims
BALTIMORE (CN) – After a woman died, a doctor changed his surgical report to downplay her bleeding, her family claims in Baltimore County Circuit Court.
Byron Warnken, Esquire, as personal representative of the Estate of Tosin Olukayode, Abigail Appenteng, a minor, by and through her parent and next friend George Appenteng, individually and as surviving child of Tosin Olukayode and Gabrielle Appenteng, a minor, by and through her parent and next friend George Appenteng, individually, and as surviving child of Tosin Olukayode sued Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C. and Samana Zulu, M.D. for medical malpractice and wrongful death.
According to the lawsuit, Tosin Olukayode, a 41-year-old African-American woman with sickle cell anemia and gallstones, had a pre-surgical consultation on Sept. 21, 2017 for a laparsoscopic gall bladder removal.
“At the conclusion of her examination Ms. Olukayode was noted to be an ‘intermediate risk patient’ undergoing a ‘low risk procedure,’” the complaint states.
Olukayode checked into the hospital on Oct. 4 for her operation, it says.
Once the surgery began, Dr. Zulu discovered Olukayode had unusual anatomical structures, according to the complaint.
“The operative report notes that following the elevation of the gallbladder, it was confirmed that the cystic duct was connecting to the right hepatic duct, not the common bile duct,” the complaint states.
“In light of this abnormality, the decision was made to perform an intraoperative cholangiogram. However, before beginning the cholangiogram Dr. Zulu identified bleeding from ‘several vessels’ at the liver interface requiring clips and clinician-applied pressure,” it continues.
Tosin Olukayode’s family contends that under the circumstances, Dr. Zulu should have changed course and done an open procedure instead of continuing with the laparocopic procedure.
“Rather than converting to an open procedure at this point, Dr. Zulu transected the cystic duct laparoscopically, and removed the gallbladder and clipped a remaining portion of the cystic artery. The operative report further notes that following removal of the gallbladder, Dr. Zulu copiously irrigated the surgical site and sealed off ‘the gallbladder where some aggressive bleeding had been seen previously,’” the complaint states.
Olykayode’s condition deteriorated rapidly following the operation due to internal bleeding, necessitating a second operation, according to the complaint. Nonetheless, she continued to bleed and died the next day.
“Following Ms. Olukayode’s passing on Oct. 5, 2017, Dr. Zulu re-entered the decedent’s electronic medical record and revised his operative report. His revised operative report removed any reference to the previously documented ‘aggressive bleeding,’ and was changed to ‘[w]e irrigated copiously and we placed Tissel to the gall bladder surface where the bleeding had been even though there was no bleeding at this time.’ This was a blatant and flagrant attempt to downplay or hide the bleeding Dr. Zulu identified intraoperatively in a patient who ultimately bled to death,” the complaint states. [Bracketed portion in complaint.]
Tosin Olukayode’s family seeks compensatory damages, interest, costs and a jury trial. They are represented by Keith D. Forman, Myles J. Poster of Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt in Baltimore.