Atlanta, GA (Law Firm Newswire) August 2, 2013 — This wrongful death case was the result of a collapsed airway.
“The key point at trial in this case was that the surgeon had trouble intubating his architect patient in the first place; a sign that would indicate removing it would also present difficulties and thus extra precautions should have been implemented,” outlined Stephen Ozcomert, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
The named defendants in the suit included the hospital and the anesthesiologist on duty that day for the patient’s kidney stone surgery. The death in question happened in 2010 when the anesthesiologist removed the patient’s breathing tube, collapsing the 66-year-old man’s airway. He went without oxygen for 90 minutes and when finally revived, his brain damage was so severe, his family took him off life support four days later.
At trial, the defendant’s lawyer stated the patient’s death could not have been prevented and that it was unpredictable. The attorney further suggested that everything was done correctly when the breathing tube was taken out, replacing it with a breathing mask, while medical staff attempted to re-intubate the man. An autopsy report indicated the man had several heart problems.
“The plaintiff’s attorney suggested that when the anesthesiologist had trouble getting a tube down the patient’s throat in the first place, and it took three attempts to do so, it was an indication there would be problems when removing it. Therefore, extra care and diligence should have been exercised,” Ozcomert explained. It was to be expected that once the tube was removed, it would likely collapse. The plaintiff disputed the presence of severe heart disease, but acknowledged there were minor cardiac issues.
The key issue in this case was proper management of the airway, as a textbook intubation takes approximately 16 seconds. It was further suggested that patient data had gone missing after the incident and that the anesthesiologist had amended his incident report several times. “Does the plaintiff stand a chance of winning? Based on the evidence, it is likely,” remarked Ozcomert.
Wrongful death, medical malpractice lawsuits are heavily dependent on the medical facts as indicated in the patient’s files. Even though some material appeared to be missing, it may still be clear to a jury that if intubation was difficult, extubation could cause an airway to collapse, depriving the man of oxygen and leaving him severely brain damaged. “In a case such as this, it is best to call an experienced wrongful death lawyer and find out what your options are in filing a lawsuit,” added Ozcomert.
Stephen M. Ozcomert, PC
215 North McDonough Street
Decatur, GA 30030
Call: (404) 370-1000
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