February 10th, 2010
12:59 PM ET
13 years ago

Murtha's gallbladder procedure rarely deadly

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/10/art.murtha.file.gi.jpg caption=" Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania recently died due to complications from surgery."](CNN) - Taking out a patient's gallbladder is routine. At least 500,000 such surgeries are done each year in the United States. It takes an hour or two, and the patient can go home that day or the next.

But in rare cases, the surgery can be deadly. Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania recently died after complications from the procedure after doctors "hit his intestines" during surgery, a source close to the late congressman told CNN.

Murtha underwent the scheduled laparoscopic surgery at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on January 28, to remove his gallbladder, and was discharged. Three days later, he was admitted to Virginia Hospital Center's Intensive Care Unit because of major complications from surgery, the hospital said in a statement. He died there Monday at age 77.

The National Naval Medical Center declined to reveal additional details on Murtha's death.

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Filed under: John Murtha
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Brian L

    Probably was a Republican doctor.... a pro-lifer that caused his death.... you know how the GOP is less gov't but don't count that they want gov't to tell you who can and cannot marry, Terry Shiavo and etc....

    February 10, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    Mr. Murtha was a true partiot who risked his own life in service to his country and then came home from Vietnam to serve again in Congress. He was an all around good guy who worked for many years trying to make things better not only for Pennsylvanians, but all Americans, especially our citizens serving in the military.
    Only a sleazy coward would bad mouth such an honorable and hard working person, lets see how many scum bags try it in these posts.

    February 10, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. always proud dem in nc

    medical malpractice?

    February 10, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Preston kk

    Pkm hiS family will be rich how can a doctor make a stupid mistake

    February 10, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. SocialismBad

    So this surgery was done at a government facility on a sitting Congressman and he was shuffled out the door before ensuring he was fine. It sure looks like he didn't get any special treatment and some might argue ADEQUATE treatment. So who is the family going to sue for this screw up?

    February 10, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is so sad and scary. My sister recently had the same surgery and I told her it can be very dangerous but luckily she came out okay.

    February 10, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. ML

    How does a Democratic Rep have surgery at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, while a retired Air Force MSgt has to be seen by a private surgeon through a purchased though a heatlh insurance provider? I believe that I have been cheated and that members of the unsiteds clergy recieve perks that they have not earned.

    February 10, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Slave labor toyotas are great,hahaha

    Did the Doctor worked for the republicans or have a scalpel to grind?

    February 10, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Average American

    If a doctor made this mistake while performing surgery on your husband or son and he died, would you want to sue for damages? I don't agree with outrageous and frivolous law suits, but if a medical mistake is made during a routine surgery and someone dies, I think one should have the right to sue. Tort reform isn't the end all be all for health care reform.

    February 10, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. A. Goodwin

    Shame on those of you who want to disparge this man simply because of his political affiliation. For all you Republicans who keep getting on these threads to tash this man, just remember that he served our country with HONOR and INTEGRITY, which is a lot more than I could say about YOU.

    February 10, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Laura, Boston

    It is a shame that in this day of modern medicine that a terrible mistake was made but the doctor.

    The whole point of developing less intensive surgery (such as laparoscopic) is so that more people will recover faster and there will be fewer complications.

    My thoughts are with Rep. Murtha's familyat this terrible time.

    February 10, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. ICARE - countdown to 2011

    Huh, I think the specialists need their licenses taken away.

    February 10, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |