Necropsy accident fatal to DVM

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Mar 01, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

Jackson Hole, WYO. — A veterinarian died after accidentally slicing himself with a surgical tool while performing a necropsy on an equine patient.

A client found Tim Gwilliam, DVM, in the surgical area of his Jackson Hole Veterinary Clinic, where he apparently slipped during a necropsy, severing the femoral artery in his right leg.

Paramedics pronounced Gwilliam dead at the scene after rescusitation attempts failed. His Jan. 28 death was listed accidental but remains under investigation.

It was "an unforeseen, awful tragedy," says Ernie Patterson, DVM and part of a group of about 10 area veterinarians who share a close friendship. "Tim was just a real warm, outgoing individual. He was a strong family man, a hard worker."

In addition to being a dedicated community veterinarian, Gwilliam also enjoyed being an avid outdoorsman, says another friend, Dan Forman, DVM. "We consider what happened to be unfathomable. We're all shocked and saddened."