Anesthesia Errors Responsible for Student’s Coma

Staff Writer | May 23rd, 2013

New York Medical Malpractice LawsuitA New York medical malpractice lawsuit has been brought against Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, after a 19-year old woman from Goshen suffered severe brain damage following a routine procedure. According to the complaint, anesthesia errors made during an endoscopy has left Raina Ferraro in a vegetative state.

Ferraro, a college freshman, was admitted to the hospital in January after suffering stomach pains. She later suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest, allegedly as a result of an improperly administered anesthetic. The hospital took two weeks to contact the parents, and failed to explain to them what went wrong, according to a probe launched by the New York State Department of Health. A representative of the hospital declined to comment.

Ferraro, a liberal arts student, is now being cared for at Blythedale Children’s hospital in Valhalla. Her parents are hoping the medical malpractice lawsuit will prompt a change in legislation that demands operating rooms be installed with cameras in order to document any negligence.

Serious anesthesia errors

According to Mayo Clinic, most healthy people will not suffer any complications with general anesthesia. The chance of long-term complications or death is considered low, with the majority of surgery-related risks pertaining to the procedure itself, rather than the anesthetic.

However, there are a few factors that can increase the risks, and anyone undergoing a general anesthetic should make their doctor aware of the following medical conditions:

  • Smoking
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart, kidney or lung conditions
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Alcoholism
  • History of adverse reactions to anesthesia or allergy to other drugs

In very rare cases, complications can lead to strokes, heart attacks and death. It’s estimated that less than 0.2% of people wake up while under anesthetic. The phenomenon, known as unintended intraoperative awareness, is more likely to occur  under certain circumstances, such as emergency surgery, cesarean sections, and if anesthesia errors – like failing to administer a large enough dose – are made.

To avoid anesthesia errors, it’s vital that injections are closely monitored by an anesthesiologist and any medical staff involved in the procedure. Failure to properly monitor a patient under general anesthetic can lead to rapid, dangerous drops in blood pressure.

Filing a New York medical malpractice lawsuit for anesthesia errors

In cases of hospital or doctor negligence, a malpractice lawyer can help you establish liability for injuries caused by anesthesia errors.An experienced lawyer can help you make a case for a New York medical malpractice lawsuit. If you have grounds to file a lawsuit, you may recover compensation to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and any other damages caused.

The Sanders Firm can help you establish liability in instances of medical negligence and will fight to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. Contact our offices today at 1-800 FAIR PLAY for a free case evaluation. 

Westchester News, Phelps Memorial Hospital Center facing medical malpractice suit after endoscopy gone wrong http://westchester.news12.com/news/phelps-memorial-hospital-center-facing-medical-malpractice-suit-after-endoscopy-gone-wrong-1.5193176?firstfree=yes