Malpractice suits for alleged heart transplant errors piling up against Houston hospital

Two new lawsuits have been filed against Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, the fourth and fifth malpractice complaints involving heart transplants at the Houston hospital since the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica exposed problems with its transplant program last year.

CMS cut off Medicare funding for heart transplants in August after it was determined the center didn’t make the necessary changes to improve outcomes, including survival rates and lengths of stay in the hospital.

In one of the new lawsuits, a patient alleged then-surgical chief Jeffrey Morgan, MD, sewed a major vein closed during a February 2017 transplant, causing blood to back up into his head and leading to serious complications that required a three-month hospital stay. In the other case, a patient alleged Morgan sutured his colon to his diaphragm during an October 2016 operation, causing his abdomen to fill up with feces and resulting in serious infections that required several follow-up surgeries.

Both patients survived but continue to suffer serious complications, according to their lawsuits.

Baylor St. Luke’s and Morgan each declined to comment on the lawsuits to ProPublica and the Houston Chronicle.

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