An Illinois medical malpractice jury took four and a half hours over a two-day period to decide on March 24, 2016 to return its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in excess of $5 million, after a nine-day trial. The plaintiffs were the surviving husband and the three children of a woman who bled to death because an injury to her artery went undetected during her March 2013 hysterectomy.
The 36-year-old woman died as a result of her undiagnosed and untreated internal bleeding caused by the tip of an instrument used during her robot-assisted hysterectomy that unintentionally lacerated the woman’s artery. The Illinois medical malpractice defendants included the certified registered nurse anesthetist and her supervisor who was called to the operating room after the woman’s blood pressure fluctuated and dropped. The defendant surgeon allegedly was advised regarding the patient’s blood pressure issues.
The plaintiffs alleged that the anesthesia staff at the defendant hospital negligently failed to order blood products for transfusion and they failed to advise the defendant surgeon to operate to determine if the woman had internal bleeding until almost one-half hour after the woman’s blood pressure could no longer be detected. The Illinois medical malpractice jury held two defendant physicians and the defendant hospital liable for the verdict but did not find the defendant certified registered nurse anesthetist liable.
The Illinois medical malpractice jury’s verdict will result in the woman’s three children, who range in age from 16 to 19, receiving $5,008,922, if the verdict is not appealed or overturned on appeal.
According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), there is no difference in safety between certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and anesthesiologists, and anesthesia is approximately 50 times safer now than in the 1980s.
According to the AANA, as of August 15, 2015, there were 115 accredited nurse anesthesia programs in the United States utilizing more than 2,500 active clinical sites, and 37 nurse anesthesia programs were approved to award doctoral degrees for entry into practice. Nurse anesthesia programs range from 24 to 36 months, depending upon university requirements. All programs include clinical training in university-based or large community hospitals.
In order to become a CRNA, an applicant must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate baccalaureate degree; have a current license as a registered nurse; have at least one year of experience as a registered nurse in a critical care setting; graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program; and, pass the National Certification Examination following graduation.
In order to be recertified, CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years, document substantial anesthesia practice, maintain current state licensure, and certify that they have not developed any conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice anesthesia.
If you or a family member were harmed during a surgical or other procedure that involved anesthesia that may be due to an anesthesia-related issue, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your anesthesia medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you with your anesthesia medical malpractice claim.
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