Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Proving Medical Negligence in an Anesthesia Death Case

We are privileged to represent the estate of a woman who died in the OR at Advocate South Suburban Hospital because the anesthesiologist gave her drugs to paralyze her breathing and he then was unable to place a tube in her airway to ventilate her. She went into arrest and suffered brain death. It is a terrible loss for her family that was entirely preventable.

The medical records from the hospital don't show what people were thinking at the time. The surgeon ultimately did an emergency tracheostomy to try to save her life but it came too late. He did not even write an operative report about what happened. The anesthesiologist did his best to defend his poor care in his deposition, but as luck would have it, a nurse in the operating room was willing to give what we believe to be truthful and damning evidence against him.

In response to the question "what did the anesthesiologist say in the OR?" she testified he said "F***, maybe I should have used the fiberoptic scope to intubate her."

Sad, but true. That is only one of the things the doctor did wrong in this case. You would think a case like this is so obvious that it would never come to court, but that is not how hospitals and doctors defend these cases. We expect a trial at the end of this year.

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