Dolores Johnson was 70 years old when she suffered a stroke and had to undergo surgery for a clot on a pre-existing mitral valve. There was a danger that the clot would break off and block a blood vessel. After the surgery, Ms. Johnson never woke up and five days later she died. Cause of death: severe anoxic injury to her brain,
In her husband's ensuing medical malpractice lawsuit, the jury found that the cardiothoracic surgeon deviated from accepted medical practice in performing the surgery and in utilizing a relatively new technology called "heartport" (sometimes used as an alternative for the traditional aortic clamp).
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