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Medical Verdicts


Did air embolism during hysterectomy lead to death?

July 2003 · Vol. 15, No. 7

<court>Jackson County (Mo) Circuit Court</court>

While undergoing a hysterectomy, a 48-year-old woman experienced a cardiopulmonary collapse. She subsequently died, despite resuscitation efforts.

The family sued, arguing that the cardiac emergency resulted from air traveling through the intravenous tubing controlled by the defendant anesthesiologist. They also maintained that the defendant failed to turn off the gas and administer epinephrine to the patient during the resuscitation efforts.

The doctor claimed that the patient died of unknown causes and that the autopsy was inconclusive.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $1.5 million.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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