$550,000 Settlement for Failure to Properly Protect Airway During Cystoscopy

Mr. Fried represented a man in his 50s who went to the hospital with complaints that necessitated he undergo a cystoscopy (urological procedure).

An LMA (Laryngeal Mask Airway) was used despite it being contraindicated for a number of reasons. The man vomited and aspirated a large quantity of material, resulting in a significant pulmonary injury (lung damage).

David asserted that since the man needed the procedure emergently and, as it was unclear what and when he had last eaten, the use of an LMA was inappropriate. Further increasing the aspiration risk was that the man had a pre-existing small hiatal hernia and abdominal pain for which narcotic pain meds were given. All of these factors increased the man’s risk for delayed stomach emptying, and therefore LMA should not have been used as it does not provide complete airway protection in the event of vomiting.

The defense aggressively challenged the extent of the pulmonary injury.