A 37 year-old female patient who had been experiencing recurrent sinus infections went in for an outpatient sinus surgery. She left the operating table with significant brain damage.
According to a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against the anesthesiologist responsible for her care, the patient was given cocaine shortly after her surgery began, which caused her blood pressure to rise. The anesthesiologist then gave the patient a 10 mg dose of Labetalol, but failed to wait the customary ten minutes before giving her a second dose. Within the ten minutes period, the anesthesiologist gave the patient two doses of Labetalol, totaling three 10 mg doses.
The staff then undertook an eighteen-minute shift change, in which the patient’s vitals were not monitored or reported. When the shift change was completed, the incoming medical staff observed that the patient’s skin color had turned blue and the patient was in cardiac arrest.
After doctors revived the patient, they diagnosed her with encephalopathy, cerebral edema, and hypoxic brain injury.
The patient must now be under constant supervision and care as a result of her brain injuries.
The defendants settled the medical malpractice lawsuit for the policy limits of $2 million prior to trial.
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