Any time a child or adult undergoes a surgical procedure, there are risks. Some of these risks stem from the surgical procedure being performed. Other risks are inherent with any surgery that involves general anesthesia. Following general anesthesia, the patient was must be properly monitored during initial post-surgical period. According to documents from a recently settled medical malpractice lawsuit involving Stroger Hospital, a three-year-old boy suffered profound brain damage after medical staff allegedly failed to properly monitor him following routine outpatient surgery.
In 2011, Justine Francique took her three-year-old son, Keith, to Stoger Hospital in Chicago to undergo a standard outpatient procedure. As occasionally happens to little boys, her son was born with an undescended testicle. This occurs when at least one testicle does not come down into the scrotum. During Keith's surgery, doctors brought his testicle down into his scrotum, stitched him up, and sent him to the recovery room without incident.
While in the recovery room, Keith began having breathing difficulties. According to the lawsuit, Keith was without oxygen for at least 5 to 7 minutes but no one from the hospital allegedly noticed this or acted upon it. At 8:25 am, Keith went into full cardiac arrest. However, cardio pulmonary resuscitation did not begin until five minutes later according to the lawsuit. As a result, Keith suffered severe and profound brain damage
Last week, the Cook County Board voted to approve a $20 million medical malpractice settlement in connection with the case. The vast majority of the settlement will likely go toward paying the lifetime of medical expenses needed to care for Keith. This is not surprising given the considerable future medical treatment needed to care for any person who suffers severe brain damage as a child.