$8.3 Million Texas Medical Malpractice Verdict For Medication Mix-Up During Surgery: In early April 2022, a Texas medical malpractice jury returned a verdict against a Texas hospital and an anesthesia practice for the brain damage suffered by a patient during surgery when an anesthesiologist administered the wrong medication. The jury found Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth 65% responsible for the medication error and Sundance Anesthesia, the anesthesiology practice which was contracted to provide services at the hospital, 35% responsible.
The Texas medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that during the patient’s elective hip surgery on May 7, 2014, the anesthesiologist injected tranexamic acid into her spine instead of a spinal anesthetic. Transexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic agent used in patients with hemophilia for short-term use (two to eight days) to reduce or prevent hemorrhage and reduce the need for replacement therapy during and following tooth extraction. Convulsions have been reported in association with tranexamic acid treatment, particularly in patients receiving tranexamic acid during cardiovascular surgery and in patients inadvertently given tranexamic acid into the neuraxial system. Cases of allergic reaction with use of intravenous tranexamic acid, including anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reaction have been reported that are suggestive of a causal relationship.
As a result of the wrong medication used during surgery, the patent suffered a catastrophic brain injury. Her Texas medical malpractice attorney stated after the verdict, “Her life was destroyed as a result of the hospital’s negligent actions. Imagine being shackled to your own corpse, present, aware, but unable to communicate in any way but by blinking and moaning.”
The Texas medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the hospital and other defendants failed to “properly evaluate, train, monitor, and/or supervise” the anesthesiologist, who was employed by the defendant anesthesiology practice and was working at the hospital. The plaintiff’s expert testified during trial that the hospital was required to have written procedures to prevent medication mix-ups from occurring. The plaintiff alleged that the hospital and others were negligent and failed to comply with the hospital’s standards of care and administrative standards of care, and the hospital and others failed to develop and implement policies to make sure patients would be safe and they failed to exercise reasonable care “in formulating and enforcing the rules, policies and procedures that govern medical staff and other personnel” at the hospital.
The operator of the hospital stated after the verdict: “We acknowledge Ms. Davis has suffered a significant and devastating injury as the result of preventable human error. We are so sorry for her suffering. We believe we had proper safety policies and governance in place, but no policy can prevent human error by people contracted to provide care at the hospital. While we understand the jury’s decision in light of the evidence they had, we continue to explore our legal options at this time.”
If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm as a result of medical negligence in Texas or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Texas medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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