By Roxana Tiron - 02/18/10 12:54 AM EST
The Navy will conduct an in-depth review of the surgery performed on Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Navy spokesman said Wednesday.
The review could reveal if a surgical error led to the congressman's death.
Murtha died Feb. 8 from complications of gallbladder surgery that he underwent at Bethesda Naval hospital. After that surgery, Murtha sought care at a hospital in Arlington, Va.
Cmdr. Danny Hernandez told The Hill the review has multiple steps including a mortality and morbidity conference; a quality assurance investigation by an uninvolved subject matter expert; a review by a multi- disciplinary patient safety committee; and a consultation with Navy medicine and outside experts as required.
CNN first reported the news of the review.
Such in-depth reviews are standard procedure in situations such as Murtha's surgery, Hernandez said. He added that naval medicine "is continuously monitored."
Murtha, a retired Marine Corps colonel and the first Vietnam War veteran to serve in Congress, was buried on Tuesday in Johnstown, Pa. He was 77.
— This article was updated at 10:13 a.m.