Medical Malpractice: Severe Brain Damage Due to the Removal of a Central Line and Air Embolization

Injuries:
Severe brain damage due to negligent removal of central line and air embolization
Tried Before
Judge or Jury:
Settlement
Recovery:
$5.75 million
Date:
June 2015
Plaintiff’s
Counsel:
Marc L. Breakstone, Esq.
Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC
Boston
Mediator:
Paul Finn
Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation, Inc.
Other Useful Information:

On January 6, 2014, the 35-year-old plaintiff was about to be discharged from the defendant’s hospital where he had recently undergone a successful bone marrow transplant for leukemia.  After his discharge papers were completed, a first-year resident removed plaintiff’s central venous catheter while plaintiff was seated upright on the edge of his bed.  The standard of care required the patient be placed supine while performing this procedure so as to reduce the chance of air embolus associated with the central line removal.

According to the hospital chart, within minutes of removing the central line, plaintiff became unresponsive and went into cardiac arrest.  He was down for five minutes before he was successfully resuscitated.

As a result, plaintiff suffered air emboli in the cerebral and pulmonary vessels, which resulted in diffuse bilateral brain injury due to anoxia.

Plaintiff remained an in-patient in the ICU for three months before he was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital for five months.

Plaintiff has been left with significant cognitive and physical impairment, which will render him totally disabled from his previous occupation as an architect.  Plaintiff was also an accomplished violinist who had performed in symphony orchestras in his home country.

The case settled at mediation pre-suit.

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