A New Jersey medical malpractice case involving an infant who sustained a severe and permanent brain injury allegedly due to medical malpractice after hernia repair surgery was settled for $6.5 million on November 18, 2019, and approved by a judge on February 19, 2020.
The baby was born premature at a New Jersey hospital in April 2012. On July 24, 2012, the baby had surgery to repair an inguinal hernia. On July 31, 2012, the baby’s parents brought her to the emergency room because of a recurrent bulge. The baby was intubated in preparation for emergency surgery on August 1, 2012. The baby suffered a brain injury that resulted in chronic static encephalopathy. Now seven-years-old, she suffers from disabilities involving vision, motor control, learning disabilities, and seizures.
The New Jersey medical malpractice lawsuit named the anesthesiologist who had intubated the infant for the August 1, 2012 procedure as a defendant, along with naming other defendants. The New Jersey medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the defendant anesthesiologist negligently intubated the infant and negligently failed to monitor her breathing and oxygen levels.
The defendants argued that the infant’s brain injury was due to her prematurity and a bacterial infection.
The case was scheduled to be tried beginning on January 6, 2020 before it settled during mediation.
The February 19, 2020 judgment by the court provided for a gross settlement in the amount of $6,500,000. The judgment included $1,644,628.68 for attorney fees; $260,634.51 to reimburse the attorneys for costs and expenses; $3,000,000 to purchase an annuity to fund a structured settlement that provides for specific payments at specified ages to the child; $1,004,958.28 into a trust fund for the child; $250,000 each to the child’s parents; and, various amounts to resolve medical liens.
A textbook on emergency medicine states with regard to intubating infants and children, “Due to a higher metabolic rate, oxygen consumption is increased in children, especially in infants. Infants and children have an increased relative cardiac output and minute ventilation to match the increased metabolic demand. However, children are vulnerable to rapid desaturation when oxygenation or ventilation is reduced. Children have relatively small-volume lungs with small functional residual capacities. This translates into a reduced oxygen reservoir, which decreases the effectiveness of preoxygenation and makes optimal preoxygenation more difficult. Therefore, be prepared to support oxygenation with bag-mask ventilation, often before an intubation attempt, while awaiting the onset of induction and paralysis. Attempts at intubation may need to stop once oxygen saturation drops below 90% to allow for bag-mask ventilation before the next attempt. Below an oxygen saturation of 90%, desaturation is particularly rapid. The vast majority of children are easily bag ventilated when the proper technique is used, even when partial obstruction is present. The key is anticipation and early use of good bag-mask ventilation.”
If your infant suffered serious harm as a result of medical malpractice in New Jersey or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your infant medical malpractice claim for you and represent you and your child in an infant medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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