Medical malpractice suits are a very common type of personal injury lawsuits that involve injured medical patients seeking restitution and damages from their caregivers. The plaintiff must prove that the doctor or caregiver owed a duty to the patient to protect him or her from the inherent dangers of surgery or medical procedures. The patient must have received full informed consent before undergoing a procedure. If the doctor, hospital or caregiver breached this duty and caused injury to the patient, he may be able to commence a lawsuit against the medical professional for damages incurred. This can include the costs to correct the mistake, lost wages, emotional and mental suffering and even punitive damages.
This past week, a California jury listened to evidence presented by both plaintiff and defendant regarding injuries sustained at the hands of an anesthesiologist. The plaintiffs claims included sustained severe brain damage after being administered a dosage of anesthesia that was too strong and inappropriate for the surgical procedure.
The plaintiff was undergoing routine eye surgery when he suffered an anoxic brain injury after health care providers failed to meet a recognized standard of care with respect to power anesthetics. The procedure is very routine and normally only takes a minimal amount of time. The entire out patient experience for similar procedures is usually completed within two hours.
According to court papers, after the plaintiff was given anesthesia, the anesthesiologist walked out of the room; a practice he was in the habit of doing according to witnesses. In this unique scenario, the plaintiff had an adverse reaction to the particular anesthesia administered and began falling into a deep level of sedation not contemplated by the medical team.
While the anesthesiologist was out of the room, the patient was in such a deep sedation that he stopped breathing. This, combined with the affects of the drugs, caused him irreversible brain damage. This disorder is known to affect cognitive ability and can lead to permanent disability.
The California jury found Mazzocco Ambulatory Surgical Center to be negligent to the tun of $2.25 million. The plaintiff settled with the anesthesiologist prior to trial.