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Surgeon sued for talking on cell phone during an operation

Surgeon sued for talking on cell phone during an operation

A surgeon took a Spanish language proficiency test while performing varicose vein surgery on a 70-year-old woman. The doctor said he had to take the test during the procedure because no other time was available. Since the case was being done under local anesthesia, she could hear what he was saying. She said she speaks Spanish, heard him talking about diabetes and blurred vision, and was fearful for her safety because she thought the doctor was talking about his own medical problems. Nothing is more distracting than a cell phone in the operating room. In a perfect world, we would leave our cell phones in our lockers and sign out to another surgeon to cover us while we are operating. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. Many times when I was on call, I was the only general surgeon covering two hospitals. I had to have my cell phone in the operating room to field any calls that came in. However, I cannot condone the actions of the surgeon in this case. Taking a language proficiency test while operating is inappropriate. According to a report, he admitted this as did his group’s medical director and risk management administrator. A malpractice suit has been filed alleging the patient suffered emotional distress which is still ongoing. The outcome of the procedure is not an issue. I have several thoughts. If the test was offered at only one time, he should have scheduled the operation for another time. If the patient was fluent in Spanish, she must have realized the surgeon was not talking about his own medical problems. A successful malpractice...
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