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Mar 24
2014

Family of Woman Burned During Routine Surgery sites/default/files Suit

Family-of-Woman-Burned-During-Routine-Surgery-sites/default/files-Suit The family of a woman who was severely burned during a routine procedure has sued the hospital in her death.

The family of a woman who was severely burned during a routine surgical procedure has filed a lawsuit against the hospital and several physicians, claiming their negligence caused her death. The lawsuit names Dr. Robert Pasternak, American Anesthesiology of Florida, Dr. Francisco G. Bermudez, Dr. Ron Arison, and Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Explosion and Fire

According to court documents, Adele Bearman was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital for an arterial biopsy to check for internal bleeding. Bearman's regular physician was unavailable, so she was advised to go to the hospital. Her daughter, Linda Hamalian, was getting married in New York, but due to the tests, Bearman was unable to attend. Hamalian and her husband postponed their honeymoon in order to be with Bearman during what were supposed to be routine tests. Hamalian was in the waiting room on Aug. 31, 2013, when she heard the call for a "Code Blue" alert in the operating room. According to records, Bearman literally burst into flames when excessive oxygen mixed with electrical currents caused an explosion, causing burns on 25 percent of her body and damage to her throat. Other materials in the room also caught fire, and a surgeon had to pull burning drapes away from Bearman's face.

Severe Injury

Bearman was immediately transferred to the Ryder Trauma Center's burn unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital. For the next 140 days, she was transferred to various facilities, her face bandaged, sometimes becoming extremely agitated, as she did not understand what had happened to her. Bearman died of her injuries on January 23, 2014, at the age of 90. According to her daughter, Bearman was very active in her community. She and her husband, Edward, had moved to Florida in 1984, where Ms. Bearman was a homemaker, comparison shopper and census taker. After the death of her husband, Bearman read to elementary school children, visited the opera and theater and was the chauffer for most of her friends who could no longer drive. She also enjoyed painting and knitting.

Hospital Response

Holy Cross Hospital says that the incident involving Bearman was an isolated one, and that they consider patient safety to be a top priority. They declined to comment on the case due to patient privacy regulations. The doctors and anesthesiology company named in the lawsuit did not release a statement regarding the lawsuit.

When the negligence of a medical practitioner is suspected as the cause or contributing factor in an incident that causes injury or death, a wrongful death claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an incident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by medical negligence.