A 4-year-old who went to the hospital for eyelid surgery overdosed on halothane
and stopped breathing.
“The child was assigned to an uncertified nurse anesthetist for halothane
administration, rather than an anesthesiologist MD,” said
Christopher Mellino, a medical malpractice and
wrongful death lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio, who commented on the reported case. “There
was no crash cart in the operating room and no doctor available to give
CPR. The little boy went without oxygen for 15 minutes before he was taken
to another hospital ER.”
In short, a child who went to the hospital to have a droopy eyelid repaired
returned home disabled and in need of care for the rest of his life. Statistics
show that over 98,000 people a year die as a result of mistakes just like this one.
A jury determined that
medical malpractice caused a number of egregious errors that took place that day, and it awarded
the family $6.5 million.
“Not every bad outcome is
medical malpractice,” Mellino said. “However, allowing an uncertified nurse anesthetist
to administer halothane to anyone, let alone a 4-year-old boy, without
a crash cart and no doctor around was not only negligence, it’s
Mellino recently won a $3 million anesthesia mistake judgment for a patient
and welcomes any questions you may have about a potential claim.