Case #4065 Delayed Surgery Resulting in Blindness
Plaintiff was 61 years of age and underwent surgery to replace an aortic valve. Following the procedure, the Plaintiff was in the post-anesthesia care unit. He became hypotensive and required increasing vasopressor support. The Defendant was aware of the hypotension but waited approximately 5½ hours to return the patient to surgery. During the course of the second procedure it was determined that he was suffering from systolic anterior motion which was preventing adequate cardiac output causing hypotension. When the Plaintiff awoke following the second procedure he was legally blind in both eyes. The prolonged hypotension caused ischemia to both of his optic nerves leaving him permanently blind. The case was settled prior to trial for $700,000.