Articles Posted in Anesthesiology Errors

Monique Thomas and Christopher Mitchell sought damages in a lawsuit alleging that Dr. Edgard Khoury and Dr. Robert Kagan caused the wrongful death of their fetus from injuries suffered during an elective surgery performed on Thomas. A pregnancy test before the surgery alerted the doctors that Thomas was “potentially pregnant.”

After an inconclusive ultrasound, defendant physicians proceeded with the surgery. A short time later, the pregnancy was confirmed. As a result of the drugs that were used and the procedures in this surgery, they asserted the fetus was exposed to health risks that resulted in a nonviable fetus. Mitchell and Thomas then had to decide whether to terminate the pregnancy. They decided on ending the pregnancy by an abortion following which Thomas and Mitchell sought damages in this lawsuit alleging the surgery injured the fetus, leading to the wrongful death.

In denying defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Section 2-619(a)(9) of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, the trial court found a substantial ground for difference of opinion after the scope and application of the second and third paragraphs of Section 2.2 of the Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/2.2), and certified this question:
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Baby Doe, two months old, underwent an MRI after being taken to a hospital by ambulance. The attending anesthesiologist, Dr. Roe, ordered Propofol to prevent Baby Doe from moving excessively during the test.

While undergoing the MRI, Baby Doe’s oxygen saturation level dropped below 90. The baby suffered respiratory arrest resulting in cardiac arrest. Baby Doe experienced hypoxic-ischemic brain damage. Baby Doe — now 9 years old — is unable to take care of himself or speak.

Following this tragic brain injury, the Doe family sued Dr. Roe and his practice alleging that the anesthesiologist chose not to properly monitor Baby Doe during the MRI. The lawsuit also claimed that an attending technician failed to notify Dr. Roe when he noticed Baby Doe’s decreased oxygen saturation. The court had dismissed the radiology technician as a party defendant on that defendant’s motion. The Doe family is appealing that ruling. Continue reading