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Montgomery County, PA

In this medical malpractice action, the plaintiff maintained that during routine sinus surgery performed by the defendant doctor, the doctor and staff wrongfully injected the plaintiff with Afrin, instead of Lidocaine with epinephrine, causing the plaintiff’s heart rate to drop which required medication to bring back up the heart rate. After this medication was administered, the plaintiff’s blood pressure increased dramatically and she went into cardiac arrest. As a result of the arrest, the plaintiff was deprived of oxygen and suffered a hypoxic brain injury. The defendants all denied all liability and each defendant blamed other medical personnel in the room for the error.

On June 7, ________, the female plaintiff underwent sinus surgery performed by the defendant doctor at the defendant surgical center. According to medical records, Lidocaine with epinephrine was supposed to be injected into the plaintiff’s septum as a local anesthetic. Instead, a surgical nurse drew up Afrin, a topical vasoconstrictor, and that medication was injected into the plaintiff. Almost immediately, the plaintiff’s heart rate dropped to 36 bpm. The anesthesiologist in the room intervened and administered glycopyrrolate, which brought the plaintiff’s heart rate back up to 80 bpm.

The defendant surgeon elected to continue with the procedure and having realized the plaintiff was given Afrin instead of the Lidocaine, administered the Lidocaine, which then caused the plaintiff’s blood pressure to increase dramatically and her heart rate to spike to ________ bpm. The defendants took several steps to stabilize the plaintiff including administering several medications; however, the plaintiff went into electromechanical dissociation and a code was called. The plaintiff was transferred to the hospital where she was resuscitated.

As a result of the incident, the plaintiff maintained that she suffered anoxic encephalopathy, cardiomyopathy and brain damage manifesting as impaired memory, vision, speech, swallowing and dizziness and vertigo. The plaintiff’s husband made a claim for loss of services. The plaintiff maintained that defendants negligently injected the plaintiff with Afrin instead of Lidocaine, failing to promptly determine that the plaintiff had been injected with the wrong medication, failing to follow safe medical protocols and failing to halt the surgery when the plaintiff became bradycardic following the Afrin injection.

Each defendant denied all liability and placed the blame for the incident on the other staff members in the surgical center. All defendants argued that the injection of Lidocaine did not affect the plaintiff’s eventual outcome. In addition, the defense maintained that the plaintiff has made a full recovery and is restricted only by limitations she has imposed on herself.The jury found the defendant doctor 38.5% negligent and his practice group 61.5% negligent. The jury awarded the plaintiff $________ in damages and her husband $________ for loss of consortium. All defendants other than the surgeon and his practice group were dismissed from the case before trial.

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