An Ohio medial malpractice jury returned a defense verdict on March 23, 2017 after a one-week trial and just over one day of jury deliberations in an Ohio wrongful death lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendants breached the standard of care in performing an EDG on a man in the ICU that led to his death.
The family of the 78-year-old man alleged that the two defendant doctors were negligent by failing to have an anesthesiologist provide the sedation during the EDG procedure, that they were negligent in allowing the man’s blood oxygen level to fall dangerously low for several minutes during the procedure, and by letting a relatively inexperienced doctor perform the EDG in the defendant hospital’s ICU on July 29, 2013.
The man had sought medical treatment for stomach pain at the defendant hospital in July 2013. The examining physician suspected that the man had internal bleeding in his stomach and ordered an EDG to diagnose and treat his symptoms. Unbeknownst to the man or his family, a gastroenterologist who had been hired only 29 days prior to the man’s EDG performed the procedure, under the supervision of the physician who had examined the man. The defendants admitted that neither the man nor his family were advised before the procedure that the inexperienced physician would be performing the EDG procedure on the man.
About fifteen minutes after the EDG procedure began, the man’s blood oxygen saturation level fell to a dangerous level and he stopped breathing. Efforts to resuscitate the man were ineffective and he was pronounced dead less than an hour after the procedure had begun.
The Ohio medical malpractice wrongful death plaintiff contended that the inexperienced gastroenterologist should not have been allowed to perform the procedure on the man because he was a high-risk patient due to his weight and his age. The plaintiff alleged that had the defendants advised the man that they intended to have the inexperienced gastroenterologist perform the EDG procedure, the man would not have consented (the defendants admitted that they did not advise the man that the newly-hired, inexperienced gastroenterologist would be performing the man’s EDG).
In response to the plaintiff’s contention that the standard of care required an anesthesiologist to provide the sedative to the man during the EDG procedure, the defense provided the testimony of three medical experts that the standard of care did not require such. After the Ohio medical malpractice jury returned its defense verdict, the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer said, “When [the man] needed an anesthesiologist, there was no one to be found. When they [the defendants] needed one, they got three on the stand.”
If you or a loved one may be the victim of medical negligence during an EDG or colonoscopy in Ohio or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with an Ohio medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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