Jury: Concurrent spine surgeries did not cause patient's paralysis — 5 key points


On Jan. 30, 2017, a Boston jury determined a Massachusetts General Hospital spine surgeon's concurrent surgery schedule in 2012 did not result in a patient's quadriplegia, The Boston Globe reported.

While a surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, Kirkham Wood, MD, performed an 11-hour surgery concurrently with another surgery. The patient was paralyzed during the 11-hour surgery, and later sued. The case was recently brought in front of a jury to decide whether the concurrent surgery schedule caused the patient's paralysis.


Here are five key points:


1. The Suffolk Superior Court jury found that Dr. Wood violated informed consent by not telling the patient he would be performing two surgeries during the same time period.


2. The jury did not find a connection between Dr. Wood's split time and the patient's paralysis, however. Thus, the jury did not award the patient any financial damages.


3. Dr. Wood's case shed light on the controversial practice of concurrent surgeries. In December 2016, the Senate Finance Committee released a new report, recommending hospitals ban surgeons from performing concurrent surgeries.

4. Dr. Wood has since joined Stanford (Calif.) Medicine.


5. A board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Wood completed his fellowship at University of Minnesota/Twin Cities Scoliosis Spine Center.


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