A jury in another state awarded a man who suffered brain damage close to $11 million in damages after finding a hospital and doctor liable for medical malpractice.
The man came to the hospital for an MRI, a scan of the inside of the man’s body. The man wanted the scan because he suffered from back pain.
Before the MRI, and as a routine procedure, the man ingested chemicals which included the element gadolinium. The man suffered an allergic reaction to the chemicals, and his heart stopped beating.
By the time doctors in the hospital resuscitated him, he had suffered severe and irreversible brain damage due to this drug error.
He now requires constant medical care and can no longer work. His parents, who filed this lawsuit on his behalf, said that they will be using the money to cover medical bills and provide for his future needs.
Preparation is key during a crisis
Even if the hospital and radiologist could not have predicted how the man responded to the drug, medical professionals have a duty to anticipate that sometimes, things will go surprisingly wrong.
They must be able to respond to a crisis in a timely fashion by being prepared and communicating with one other.
In this case, the testimony was that the examination room itself had neither an alarm nor medication that would have stopped the man’s allergic reaction. The nearest antidote was in the emergency room
While staff eventually sounded an alarm, the emergency room doctor did not know what the alarm meant. There were several other instances of miscommunication and delay which, the man’s family argued, cost valuable time.
The delay could well have been the difference between the man’s full recovery and his current medical condition.
As this case shows, failing to respond to an emergency situation professionally and decisively can cause a serious injury to a patient. No matter where such incidents take place, victims should have the right to recover compensation.