Case #3013: Anesthesia Error Causes Brain Damage
On March 20, the Plaintiff’s Decedent was a 43 year old female who presented to the Defendant Hospital’s emergency department with complaints of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting due to a gallstone. Accordingly, on March 21, she underwent an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for the gallstone, which was conducted under IV sedation administered by the Defendant anesthesiologist and monitored by the Defendant certified registered nurse anesthetist. During the course of the procedure, the Plaintiff’s Decedent experienced decreased respirations which were negligently ignored. As a result, she became hypoxic and bradycardic, with her blood pressure dropping to a level of 89/72, and decreased oxygen saturation levels. At 12:55 p.m., a code was called because the Plaintiff’s Decedent had gone into asystole.
The Plaintiff alleged that these Defendants negligently failed to properly monitor the Plaintiff’s Decedent’s respiration and negligently failed to recognize and timely correct her respiratory compromise, leading to hypoxia, bradycardia and cardiac arrest. Additionally, the Plaintiff alleged that the Plaintiff’s Decedent did not receive an appropriate and adequate resuscitation conducted in accordance with the standards of care. Rather, it was alleged that the intubation was negligently delayed and the drugs required for the resuscitation were not administered in a timely fashion so that the Decedent remained in asystole and in arrest for a prolonged period of time.
As the direct and proximate result of the negligence, the Plaintiff’s Decedent suffered hypoxic encephalopathy and severe, permanent brain damage. She was maintained on a ventilator at the Defendant Hospital and ultimately transferred to a referral center for further specialized care and treatment. Subsequently, she was transferred to a nursing home which specialized in long term placement for brain injured individuals, until her tragic and untimely death on March 9, 2013. She is survived by her husband and five children.