A South Carolina orthopedic surgeon leaves a patient a paraplegic. Jury awards one of the largest judgments in the state for medical malpractice.
The Green family of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was awarded $2.85 million in a medical malpractice case where a surgeon re-routed Randy Green from a pre-operative waiting area to get a CAT scan, even though Green’s vital signs were not stable.
Green sustained severe injuries in a car accident in 2004, including severed arteries. He was taken to the hospital for surgery. While being prepped, the surgeon ordered a CAT scan. The resulting half hour delay, when the man’s blood pressure was 72 over 56 and considered dangerous, sent Green into cardiac and respiratory arrest. He was brought back to life by an E.R. doctor and anesthesiologist. However, by then, a portion of the man’s spinal cord had died, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
At trial, even expert medical witnesses on behalf of the surgeon agreed the patient should not have been taken for a CAT scan with a blood pressure reading that low. When the patient had a heart attack, his body went without oxygen for up to eight minutes and 27 seconds. The end result was the jury agreeing that the medical negligence in this case was life-altering and egregious.
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