$1 Million Recovery for Failure to Monitor Post-Operative Patient After Pain Medication Given

This medical malpractice and wrongful death action arises out of the negligent care rendered to the plaintiff’s decedent, while she was admitted to the hospital for knee replacement surgery. The surgery itself was uneventful. Afterwards, the patient was moved to a room for post-surgical care, coming under the care of a newly hired nurse and her supervisor. Due to complaints of post-operative pain, an anesthesiologist administered a bolus of the drug Bupivacaine to the patient. The patient’s vital signs were not taken prior to administration of the bolus, nor were they taken post administration of the bolus. The decedent, contrary to accepted standards of care, was then left unattended by the medical personnel. When one of the nurses later went to check on the patient, she was unresponsive. By that time, the woman, unfortunately, had suffered an anoxic brain injury with no chance for recovery, and, subsequently died days later.

Plaintiff claimed that the nurses were negligent in failing to adequately monitor the patient both before and following the bolus injection by the anesthesiologist, and, that the anesthesiologist was negligent in failing to instruct the nurses to ascertain the vital signs of the patient both before and after the injection. The parties agreed to settle the matter for $1 million. Blume Donnelly partner, Michael Zerres, represented the woman’s family.