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Brain Injury Victim Given Wrong Medication Awarded $5.1 Million by Montgomery County Jury


Earlier this month – on January 16, 2014 – a Montgomery County jury awarded a $5.1 million verdict to a medical malpractice victim who suffered severe brain injuries. The woman – who was undergoing nasal surgery – was injected with the wrong medication, which caused her to suffer cardiac arrest and brain damage. The verdict, awarded to the woman and her husband, also stated that the treating physician and the Abington Surgical Center were negligent. The woman received $4.6 million and her husband $500,000 for emotional damages and loss of companionship.

Court documents state that on June 7, 2010, the victim was scheduled to undergo an outpatient ear, nose, and throat procedure. Prior to the surgery, the treating physician called for a local anesthesia injection of lidocaine and epinephrine. He also ordered that cotton balls be soaked in Afrin to be used for controlling bleeding during the surgery. A nurse poured the Afrin into a clear cup, and did not inform anyone in the operating room that she had done so.

Court papers further state that a second nurse, thinking the cup contained the local anesthesia, drew the Afrin into an unmarked syringe. After the treating physician injected the Afrin into the woman’s nasal cavity, her heart rate dropped to 36. Without knowing that Afrin had been used, a nurse anesthetist administered glycopyrrolate to bring the woman’s heart rate up to 80.

Once it was discovered that the woman had been injected with Afrin, the treating physician continued to perform the procedure, not knowing how the woman would be affected. After her heart rate spiked, she was then given a medication that was later determined to be unfit for the circumstances.

The series of egregious errors and the lack of communication made by everyone in the operating room, the lawsuit claims, resulted in the woman suffering cardiac arrest and subsequent brain damage. She now suffers from difficulties with vision, memory, and speech, and suffers from impaired cognitive abilities. Her injuries were also expected to become worse with age.

At The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. and Associates, our Washington, DC medical malpractice attorneys fight zealously on behalf of victims and families who suffer damages as the result of a health care provider’s negligence. For more information about your case, your rights, and how our firm can help, call 202.223.4488 for a FREE consultation.

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