A Minnesota anesthesiology practice was found liable earlier this month to a former patient who suffered a permanent spinal injury and lost the use of his legs due to the alleged medical negligence of an anesthesiologist just before and during surgery that allowed the patient’s blood pressure to drop too low during surgery, thereby leading to insufficient blood flow to his spinal cord.
The Minnesota medical malpractice jury deliberated for eight hours over a two-day period, following a nine-day trial, before finding in favor of the man and awarding him $9.1 million in damages.
The plaintiff went to the hospital in February 2012 for symptoms consistent with a bowel perforation. At the time he arrived at the hospital, he was suffering from severe dehydration. The hospital’s medical staff began providing the man with intravenous fluids to rehydrate him. While the man was being rehydrated, his bowel perforation was discovered and it was determined that the man would need surgery.
About one hour before the scheduled surgery, the man’s IV fluids was stopped, thereby leaving him severely dehydrated during the surgery, according to the man’s Minnesota medical malpractice lawsuit. During the surgery, the man’s blood pressure dropped to a dangerously low level, thereby affecting blood profusion to his spinal cord. As a result, the man’s spinal cord was severely and permanently damaged, resulting in paralysis and affecting the man’s ability to walk, according to his Minnesota medical malpractice lawsuit.
The 51-year-old former auto mechanic, who owned a business providing low-cost oil changes, attempted to return to work after suffering his injuries due to the alleged anesthesiology malpractice but he was unable to continue to work and he had to sell his business. The man was able to regain some use of his legs following intensive therapy, being able to traverse a 50-foot platform using a walker. However, he had to stop formal therapy when his insurance and other funds ran out; he continued exercising on his own by swimming and using a stationary bicycle attached perpendicular to a wall in his home.
After the Minnesota medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of his client, the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer stated, “This verdict will provide him with the resources he needs to live as independent a life as possible. Even better, he can now afford a long-term, highly sophisticated rehabilitation program that could someday allow him to walk again.” The plaintiff stated that he looks forward to replacing his broken-down wheelchair and resuming therapy that may help him walk independently in the future.
The defendant anesthesiology practice has not indicated yet whether it will appeal the Minnesota medical malpractice jury’s verdict.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or worse) as a result of medical care (or the lack of medical care) in Minnesota, you should promptly find a Minnesota medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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