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Family awarded $17.5M after son suffers severe brain injury

When assessing a patient and devising a treatment plan, doctors must consider numerous factors. In many cases, doctors are called upon to weigh the risks vs. benefits to a patients and must often make difficult decisions. When a doctor chooses to gamble with a medical decision, however, medical errors can occur that can result in a patient suffering serious and permanent injuries.  

The family of a 24-year-old man was recently awarded a settlement of $17.5 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed after the man suffered severe brain damages as a result of a medical mistake by anesthesiologists at the hospital where the man underwent surgery.

Five years ago, the then 19-year-old man was injured by a stray bullet. The bullet shattered the man's jaw and resulted in his airway being swollen and partially blocked. Despite the man's condition and the fact that his injury did not require immediate surgical intervention, the attending physician decided to operate.

Upon moving the man after his procedure, the anesthesia team failed to follow proper procedure. As a result, the man flipped over and his breathing tube became dislodged. As the anesthesia team attempted to re-intubate the man, he was without oxygen for roughly 8 minutes. He sustained severe brain damage.

When deciding the case, notes contained in the man's medical records indicate that doctors deviated from proper procedures. As a result of the medical team's negligence, the man was left with severe and irreversible brain damage. Today, he is unable to walk or talk. His family will use the money awarded via the medical malpractice lawsuit to provide the round-the-clock medical care the man needs to live a comfortable life.

Source: Atlanta Daily World, "Grady Hospital Slapped With $17.5 Million Malpractice Verdict," April 28, 2013

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