Some in Hawaii may have heard about an incident that occurred outside the state that reportedly resulted in a man suffering a severe brain injury. A medical malpractice lawsuit was filed, and a jury recently awarded $12.2 million for damages to the patient. Any person who plans to undergo surgery has the right to reasonably assume that medical professionals will take every and all precautions to ensure his or her safety. Negligent acts on the part of medical staff members can have devastating results.
The recent judgment was awarded after a 56-year-old man was given a dose of medication during heart surgery that was 18 times greater than the prescribed dosage. The incident occurred when the patient developed a complication known as “ventricular fibrillation” of the heart. Because the overdosed drug was administered intravenously into the man’s body for approximately 30 minutes, the level of the medication in his blood became toxic. This led to severe oxygen deprivation to his brain, causing an injury that has rendered him disabled for the rest of his life.
The brain-injured man is no longer able to perform even the most basic functions on his own. He will always need medical care and assistance to live. Before his injury, he worked at a local factory and led an active life as a husband and the father of five children.
Hawaiian law allows anyone who suffers injury under similar circumstances to file a medical malpractice claim in a civil court. A family can incur substantial financial debt due to the ongoing care often required for recovery in such incidents. Knowing that a successfully litigated case can provide compensation that can help offset some of those costs may be of comfort to those involved.
Source: registerguard.com, “Jury returns $12.2 million verdict against PeaceHealth, doctors for causing brain damage”, Jack Moran, Oct. 22, 2015