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Jury awards $12M in Oregon medical malpractice case

Surgeons generally get all of the attention when it comes to surgical procedures. As important as the surgeon is, one other person in the room is equally as important, if not more so in some cases. If an anesthesiologist makes a mistake, the patient can suffer serious injury or die. A medical malpractice case recently decided here in Oregon dealt with such an error.

In March 2011, an Oregon man underwent a surgical procedure. During the surgery, his heartbeat became unstable. The anesthesiologist administered a dose of amiodarone, which is a heart medication.

Unfortunately, the man was given an overdose of the medication. After the procedure, it became clear that he suffered brain damage. In a civil lawsuit filed in 2013, it was claimed that the anesthesiologist's mistake was the cause of it.

Recently, the case went to trial. A jury agreed with the man that the anesthesiologist was negligent and responsible for the man's brain damage. The jury not only held the doctor liable, but also the hospital where he underwent the procedure as well. The man was awarded over $6.4 million for the economic damages he sustained and will sustain, along with approximately $5.8 million for pain and suffering.

Everyone present at a surgical procedure is responsible for the safety and health of the patient who entrusted his or her life to the team. Like this man, anyone who suffers permanent injury, or a family who loses a loved one, because of the negligence of one or more members of the surgical team may exercise the right to file a medical malpractice claim. If it is established that the care received was subpar, damages may be awarded to help with the financial repercussions.

Source: kgw.com, "Ore. man awarded $12M in PeaceHealth medical negligence case", Oct. 22, 2015

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