Surgeries are not without their risks. Unfortunately, sometimes unforeseen risks occur that have terrible consequences for all involved.
For example, a 62 year old man underwent a carotid endarterectomy, which is the removal of plaque from an artery to prevent a stroke, and an angioplasty.
Throughout the day after the surgery, the patient had signs and symptoms of an approaching respiratory arrest, including shortness of breath, hoarse voice, anxiousness and agitation, throat pain, neck hematoma, and edema.
While nursing notes confirm these symptoms, nothing was done besides calling surgery that night when the patient became agitated and combative. 45 minutes later, the patient complained of difficulty breathing and eventually became unresponsive. He then went into acute respiratory distress followed by cardiopulmonary arrest. The code lasted for almost an hour, and afterwards the patient was found to have large amounts of airway compression and was unable to be intubated. By the time they were able to establish an airway, the patient had suffered a massive brain injury.
The case was mediated this past May, with a settlement reached for $3.5 million. Plaintiff would have had to have proved that the doctors involved violated the applicable standard of care when treating the patient, and that caused his injuries.
Medical malpractice is very difficult to prove, especially without the aid of an attorney. If you believe you're the victim of medical malpractice, contact our office for a free consultation.