Anesthesiology Error Leads to Intraoperative Awareness, Immediate Cardiac Arrest, and—Ultimately—Profound Psychiatric Trauma
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
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Posted in:Settled | $1.16 Million
52-year-old wife and mother was admitted to hospital for an elective cervical fusion. Her anesthetic induction began with an immediate “hard surge” through her body; she was completely paralyzed, yet conscious. She felt as though she was unable to breathe. Before she lost consciousness, she had the distinct impression that she was about to die. She suffered cardiac arrest on the operating table before the surgery had even begun. Her care was immediately turned over to a cardiologist. She was revived and diagnosed with “catecholamine cardiomyopathy.” It was determined that the defendant anesthesiologist administered the drugs in the wrong order; more specifically, he gave the patient the paralyzing agent (succinylcholine) before the sedative (propofol), causing her paralysis and the feeling of impending death. As a direct result of the unintended intraoperative awareness, our client suffers from (and is still being treated for) post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, hallucinations, night/day terrors, flashbacks, depression, insomnia, and psychogenic seizures. She had no history of mental illness prior to this event. The case settled for $1,169,501.