Surgery can be a scary experience. Whether it is a routine procedure or a lifesaving emergency, every patient puts a great deal of faith and trust into all of the doctors and nurses involved. Aside from the primary surgeon and their assistants, every major surgery also has an anesthesiologist. During a surgical procedure, the anesthesiologist will continually monitor and control the patient’s vitals (heart rate and rhythm, breathing, blood pressure, body temperature and body fluid balance) and adjust the amount of anesthetic medication according to the patient’s needs. It is a crucial role that requires years of medical school and further training to perform successfully. Since it is such a crucial role, if it is done improperly, serious injury or even death can occur.
Unfortunately, one Massachusetts woman did not receive the duty of care from her anesthesiologist that was expected, which consequently caused her serious harm. The forty-one-year-old woman, who asked to remain anonymous, underwent surgery to have an intrathecal catheter implanted to cope with her long-standing pain in her left leg. An intrathecal catheter is a thin plastic tube that is inserted into the base of the spine and connects to a small pump to allow doctors to administer painkillers and medication directly to a patient’s spinal fluid. The implantation was successful, but after the surgery, the woman complained of feeling numbness in her legs and feet.
The next day, the woman returned to the hospital; neurological tests showed that the catheter had punctured part of her spine, causing nerve damage. The catheter was removed, but the woman lost significant feeling in her feet and legs and now has bilateral paraplegia, which severely limits her mobility. During an investigation, it was revealed that the woman’s anesthesiologist had placed the catheter several vertebrae higher than what medical standards recommend. Furthermore, in a post-surgery report, the anesthesiologist recorded that he placed the catheter lower than where it actually was, and did not alert any other doctors of any possible complications. The woman filed a personal injury lawsuit, arguing that her anesthesiologist’s actions were negligent and caused her injuries. A jury agreed with her, and ordered the doctor and hospital to pay her $2 million dollars to compensate her for her injuries.
Have you or a family member been injured due to medical malpractice? If so, our Boston medical malpractice attorneys will make sure that you receive the money damages that you justly deserve. We have over a quarter-century of trial and litigation experience in achieving superlative results for our clients in the greater Boston area and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Contact our attorneys today for your free and confidential consultation. Please call 617-787-3700, 24/7, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org without delay.