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Flora Martirosyan’s family accuses surgeon of failure to treat fatal infection

The family of a prominent Armenian folk singer who died following routine gallbladder surgery accused her surgeon of missing obvious signs of infection after the operation in a medical malpractice trial currently underway in California state court, CVN reports.

An attorney for Flora Martirosian’s adult children accused Dr. Mardiros Mihranian of failing to prescribe adequate antibiotics and discharging their mother from Glendale Memorial Hospital despite her running a fever after surgery. During her opening statement on April 28, Amanda McClintock of Girardi & Keese LLP told jurors that these errors resulted in Martirosian’s unnecessary death.

“If the defendants had been practicing according to the standard of care, they would have kept Mrs. Martirosian in the hospital,” she said.

Martirosian was a well-known folk musician in Armenia who later developed a loyal following in the United States, going on to perform with headliners like Stevie Wonder. She underwent emergency gallbladder surgery in 2012 and died days later of sepsis at the age of 55.

McClintock told jurors that infection is one of the most common complications from this type of surgery, and that Dr. Mihranian should have determined the cause of the fever Martirosian presented the morning she was discharged. She said infection should have been even more of a concern due to Martirosian’s weight and the presence of a lap band in her abdomen, two factors that make infection even more of a risk.

When Martirosian returned to Glendale in respiratory distress after being discharged, Bradford said she was treated by a team of doctors that didn’t include Mihranian, and that everyone agrees the original surgery was done correctly.

The trial before Judge Brian Currey is still underway and expected to continue through at least May 9.

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