Failed epidural leads to $4.25 million medical malpractice award

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Regardless of how well Tennessee women have coped with nine months of pregnancy, the imminent birthing process is likely to produce anxiety. Even when it is not a first child, a number of things can go wrong with the baby or the mother during labor. This was the case for a mother in another state who is partially paralyzed after the birth of her third child. A jury recently awarded her $4.25 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit she filed against the doctor who administered the epidural.

The 35-year-old mother asserts that the permanent damage to her spinal cord was completely unanticipated when she went prepared for the birth of her baby. Court documents allege that the anesthesiologist was negligent when he failed to inject the epidural drugs into the appropriate place to administer the painkilling drugs. An epidural involves the injection of drugs around the nerves responsible for carrying signals from the part of the body that feels pain during the labor process. It must be injected into the space outside the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord and fluid.

The plaintiff claims that a cystic lesion resulted from the epidural needle entering her spinal cord. In defense, the anesthesiologist claims to have been fatigued from working a 24-hour shift prior to administering the epidural. This brought about the claim of negligence as it would be expected that the defendant would recognize the danger and call for another anesthesiologist to perform the dangerous procedure.

After deliberation, the jury found the defendant responsible for causing the plaintiff to suffer chronic pain and permanent damage to her leg with potential permanent paralysis. The future medical expenses were also considered in their award of $4.25 million. Nobody should be the victims of the shortcomings of medical professionals, and those who are have the right to pursue compensation by filing medical malpractice claims in a Tennessee civil court.

Source: Fox CT, “Bridgeport woman awarded $4.25 million after epidural causes lasting damage“, Samantha Schoenfeld, May 5, 2015