This Medical Malpractice case illustrates the old saying that there is no such thing as minor surgery. To that end, Susan Kalitan was supposed to have surgery on her hand at Broward General Medical Center in 2007 for carpal tunnel syndrome. However, complications with the anesthesia she was given resulted in emergency surgery and a lawsuit.
Kalitan’s attorneys claimed the instruments used on their client during general anesthesia perforated Kalitan’s esophagus, and punched a hole in the tube that runs down to her tummy where food goes.
As reported by NBC Miami, Kalitan was discharged from the hospital inappropriately and went home. Her attorney said. “Everything she swallowed ended up going through the hole in her esophagus and into her chest cavity.”
The following day, Kalitan was rushed to West Side Regional where she had emergency surgery and was in intensive care for weeks. She needed a feeding tube and couldn’t swallow for months.
Kalitan says she still has some trouble swallowing. Her attorneys claim she was unaware a student nurse would be part of the anesthesia team.
On Thursday, June 16, 2011, a Broward County Jury returned a $4.7 million verdict.
In order to prevail in a claim for Medical Malpractice, the Plaintiff must prove that the treatment he/she received was below the standard of care.
In this particular case, as a Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer, I would assume the Plaintiff’s presented 2 separate theories. First that the perforation of the esophagus was below the standard of care. Although, perforations are commonly depicted as surgical risks.
The second theory, is the failure to recognize a perforation, and discharge a patient home.