A North Carolina neurologist filed a North Carolina medical malpractice lawsuit against her former colleagues and the hospital where she used to work, alleging that she could no longer work after she received too much anesthesia during her own surgery. The neurologist, who no longer holds a medical license, claims that she suffered brain damage due to the overdose of anesthesia during her surgery that resulted in problems with her memory that preclude her from practicing medicine safely.
The plaintiff had two gynecological surgeries in 2010. The second surgery (laparoscopic hysterectomy) took place in late 2010, after which she developed pain around the surgical incision and she required additional surgery in January 2011. It was during the third surgery that the alleged overdose of anesthesia was administered, causing her blood pressure to drop, to which the defendants allegedly failed to timely respond, and the plaintiff had difficulty waking up after the surgery. The neurologist expected to be released from the hospital on the same day as the third surgery but instead spent eleven days in the hospital, during which she had headaches. She returned to work for about one month after the January 2011 surgery but she left after she determined that her memory had been effected.
The neurologist filed her North Carolina medical malpractice lawsuit in 2011. The defendants included the hospital, the anesthesiologist, the anesthesiologist’s medical practice, and two nurses involved with the third surgery. The plaintiff’s medical malpractice complaint alleged that after the defendant anesthesiologist administered the anesthesia and the patient was unconscious, the anesthesiologist left the operating room, leaving one of the defendant nurses responsible for monitoring the plaintiff. The anesthesiologist allegedly administered too high a dose of anesthesia, and the nurse monitoring the plaintiff allegedly failed to timely respond to the drop in the plaintiff’s blood pressure. The defense attorneys noted that the defendant anesthesiologist and the defendant nurse had a combined 38 years of experience between them.
The five-week jury trial began in November 2014 after more than one week selecting a medical malpractice jury, and the jury found in favor of all of the defendants in late December 2014 (the defendants alleged that there are known risks of anesthesia and that they properly followed protocols and were not negligent in providing care to the plaintiff).
One of the obstacles that the plaintiff neurologist faced with her medical malpractice claim was that she was unconscious during the alleged negligence and therefore had to rely on the medical records authored by the defendants and others, as well as the defendants’ renditions of what occurred, in order to satisfy her burden of proof that the defendants breached the standard of care in treating her and that the breach of the standard of care caused her alleged injuries.
If you suffered injury after receiving anesthesia, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your anesthesia medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice claim against an anesthesiologist, and/or other(s)s, if appropriate.
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