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Airman Losses Legs after Botched Surgery

Airman 1st Class Colton Read lost parts of both of his legs and is in critical condition after a routine gallbladder surgery at Travis Air Force Base went terribly wrong, said members of his family.

Read was supposed to get his gallbladder remove laparoscopically via a small incision. However, during the procedures, surgeons nicked or punctured an aorta, a large artery that carries blood from the heart through the body, stated Read’s wife. Although the surgeons repaired the breach enough to save Read’s life, the repair began leaking and disrupted the blood supply to the legs, family members stated.

Read was flown to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, where doctors told the family that the damage from the lack of blood required amputation. Family members say that Read has undergone ten surgeries to remove dead tissue from his legs, leaving him without much of his right leg and the lower portion of his left. According to Read’s wife, Read still has not had his gallbladder removed because of the surgery complications.
Travis Air Force Base officials have not commented on this incident, but the case is under investigation by the base, a national hospital accrediting commission and the U.S. surgeon general.

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