Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

David A. Axelrod & Associates procured a $2.1 million settlement for the mother and sister of a 23 year-old man who died by suffocation while a patient in the intensive care unit at a Chicago area hospital.  The settlement was paid by the hospital as well as by the insurance company for an anesthesiologist who failed to properly reintubate the patient when he encountered the profound breathing problems that led to the young man’s death.

During the early morning hours of July 14, 2002, the young man was involved in a single car automobile accident.  He arrived at the emergency room at 2:30 a.m., where he was diagnosed with a LeFort I maxillary fracture (broken jaw), a lacerated tongue and other minor injuries.  That afternoon, the patient underwent surgery to repair the fracture, requiring that his jaw be wired shut and that he have a tube inserted into his nose with a ventilator to assure proper breathing.

During the days following surgery, the patient experienced difficulties breathing and communicated to his fiancee his breathing difficulties, and consequent anxiety and agitation.  Despite his complaints and the low respiration rate, nothing was done to give the patient further assistance with his breathing.  At approximately 2:00-2:30 a.m., the patient went into respiratory distress.  Because of the respiratory arrest and abnormal vital signs, three doctors, including the anesthesiologist, were contacted.  At least two attempts to reintubate the patient failed and he ultimately went into cardiac arrest and died.

David A. Axelrod & Associates argued that there was no reason a healthy 23 year-old man should have suffered cardiac arrest while recuperating from this surgery absent medical negligence. The firm, through board certified medical experts, established that the doctors and nurses at the hospital failed to properly monitor the patient to assure that he was getting sufficient oxygen.   The firm also established that the anestehsiologist breached the standard of care in his treatment of the patient by failing to effectively restore his airway and ability to breathe.

At the time of his death, the young man had lived with his mother, who lost her only son.  He was also survived by his sister.  After months of negotiations, David A. Axelrod & Associates reached a settlement wherein the hospital paid $1.2 million and the insurance company for the anesthesiologist paid an additional $900,000.

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If you are in need of experienced, dedicated, and tenacious trial representation, call David A. Axelrod & Associates today at 312-782-4600 for your free consultation.

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