Family of retired sailor left in coma files medical malpractice lawsuit against naval hospital

A Florida medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed by the family of a retired sailor, claiming that he was left in a coma after what was supposed to be a routine diagnostic procedure.

On July 8, 2014, Retired Navy Chief Engineman Shon Hollis was supposed to undergo a colonoscopy and endoscopy at Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. Today, Hollis is in a vegetative state, residing in a nursing home and unable to talk, walk, eat or communicate, a condition that the lawsuit claims was caused by brain damage suffered as the result of oxygen deprivation during the procedures.

According to the lawsuit, Hollis had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in 2008, a condition that requires anesthesiologists to take precautions to reduce the risk of complications. The lawsuit alleges that even though Hollis was diagnosed with sleep apnea at Naval Hospital and received treatment there, the doctors performing his colonoscopy were unaware of his condition and failed to take precautions.

The lawsuit also alleges that the “rapid sequence intubation” and CPR that were used to revive Hollis took too long, depriving his brain of oxygen for 22 minutes.

According to Jennifer Zeldis, a Navy Judge Advocate General spokeswoman, in the past five years, Naval Hospital Jacksonville has had 13 instances of alleged medical malpractice that resulted in claims.

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