Most people in Providence probably aren't overly familiar with the healthcare provider hierarchy. Typically, their main concern is that the most qualified provider in the room at the time of their care is the one who is administering treatment. Providers, on the other hand, are well-versed in the standards of care for those areas in which they practice. Thus, they know exactly who and how many need be present at the time of a patient's procedure in order to be able to respond to sudden changes in the patient's condition. A failure to meet those staffing requirements could be viewed as surgical malpractice.
The family of a California man is making just such an accusation in a lawsuit they recently filed on his behalf. In their lawsuit, they allege that the doctor who was performing the man's open-heart surgery left the operating room with the man's chest still open and while he was still under anesthesia. This left the physician's assistant assisting with the procedure to close up the opening in the man's chest without supervision. The man subsequently went into cardiac arrest and was left living in a vegetative state.
The family bringing this suit also alleges that this is not the first time that this surgeon has cut corners during procedures. If true, such a pattern could be definitely bolster the case against this allegedly careless surgeon and other providers believed to be displaying similar negligence. Yet uncovering such information can be difficult for those without the resources to conduct such a vast search of past medical records as well as the knowledge to know what to look for. Thankfully, one may find that a lawyer will bring just those sorts of resources and experience to his or her case.
Source: The Fresno Bee "Fresno heart surgeon in battle with state over legal documents" Barbara Anderson, Aug. 05, 2014