Fatal Vein Rupture During Cardiac Catherization Medical Malpractice Claim Ends in Verdict for Doctor

A Cook County jury found that no medical negligence that caused the death of Jerome Granat following a cardiac catherization. On June 16, 2010, the defendant cardiologist, Dr. Surendra Avula, performed a cardiac catherization procedure on 64-year-old Granat at Advocate Christ Hospital. The patient’s previous cardiac history included quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery in 1994, three stents put in place in 2002 and 2007 and one heart attack, but he still had normal heart function and was in reasonably good health at the time of this procedure.

Dr. Avula, the head of the cardiac cath lab at Christ Hospital, found 99% blockage in Granat’s old bypass vein graft, requiring a new stent; however, the old graft ruptured when the stent was inserted.

Despite emergency surgery, Granat suffered brain damage and died 2 weeks later. He had recently retired and was survived by his wife and three adult children. The family filed a lawsuit against Dr. Avula and his practice maintaining that he selected a stent that was too large (4 mm instead of 3.5 mm), that he improperly responded to the graft rupture and that he should have re-inserted a balloon to stop the bleeding rather than transferring the patient for emergency cardiovascular surgery.

The Granat family’s cardiology expert testified that the stent size selection was based upon visual estimation by the surgeon; his own visual estimate determined a 4mm stent would be too large and 3.5 mm stent should have been used. Dr. Avula insisted his visual estimation of the size of the vein graft at this site was correct. This choice was confirmed by the defendant cardiology expert, Dr. John Lopez, who is the head of interventional cardiology research at Loyola University Medical Center and the former cath lab head at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

The defendant also argued that the vein graft rupture was a known risk of the procedure, the time spent re-inserting a balloon would have caused more harm to the patient, there was no reasonable belief that another balloon would have worked to stop the bleeding. It was also maintained that the defendant, Dr. Avula, worked rapidly to stabilize the patient so surgical repair could be attempted.

After the jury deliberated with this case, it found in favor of Dr. Avula and his cardiology practice. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $2,350,000. There was no offer made by the defendants.

Estate of Jerome Granat, deceased v. Dr. Surendra Avula, Cardiovascular Consultants, Ltd., No. 11 L 5749 (Cook County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling cardiology malpractice claims, cardiovascular malpractice claims and medical negligence cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lincolnwood, Lansing, Chicago (Lawndale, Austin, Rogers Park, Hegewisch, Greek Town), Mundelein, Deerfield, Flossmoor and Tinley Park, Ill.

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