A young mother has passed away due to medical errors caused by the anesthetist team assisting with her scheduled C-section. (For medical confidentiality reasons, the names and locations involved in this case are currently not available to the public.)
As the mother was being prepared to deliver her child through a cesarean delivery, the anesthetist was tasked with administering bupivacaine, an intrathecal anesthetic. Instead of grabbing the bupivacaine, the anesthetist grabbed an ampule of digoxin, a medication that can help patients suffering from heart failure. At no point was the ampule scanned or even examined. The anesthetist picked it up, drew a dose, and injected it into the new mother’s spine.
When the mother was not experiencing the painkiller-like effects of bupivacaine, the anesthetist asked another anesthesiologist for assistance. Again, the medication was not checked before another dose was drawn from the ampule and administered intrathecally.
Shortly after the newborn was delivered, the mother became dizzy and suffered a painful migraine. Moments later, she experienced facial drooping, left-side weakness, and apnea, followed by paralysis. The medical team intubated her and sent her to the hospital’s intensive care unit.
It was only during a medication count in the operating room after the C-section delivery was completed that a nurse noticed the digoxin ampule was misplaced. Prompt medical testing detected digoxin in the mother’s system, but it was too late. She was declared brain-dead and died due to the medical mistake.
(For more information about this recent incident of fatal medical malpractice, you can click here to read a full article from Pharmacy Times.)
Who is Liable for the Young Mother’s Wrongful Death?
An investigation will likely be required to determine liability for the young mother’s death in this digoxin-bupivacaine case. At first glance, it appears that the anesthesiology team assisting with the C-section would be responsible for the fatal error because they failed to check the medication before administering it - not once, but twice. However, the hospital could also be liable depending on how operating room medications are stored, as well as the employment status of the anesthetist and anesthesiologist.
It is not known at this time if the new mother’s surviving family intends to take legal action against the medical providers for the fatal medical errors. Given the circumstances, it appears that a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit in pursuit of justice and compensation would be justified.
Legal Help After Medical Malpractice in Any Form
Medical malpractice and negligence-related birth injuries cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year, as well as thousands of deaths. The attorneys at National Trial Law are dedicated to fighting for the rights of as many people affected by medical errors as possible. We are a Texas-based law firm with a national reach, so you can count on us to provide award-winning legal counsel wherever you are. If you and your family have been affected by medical mistakes, reach out today to see how we can help.
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