Per reports, the 32-year-old man, Carlos, has been in a vegetative state, since undergoing surgery to fix a broken leg several years ago. He was put under general anesthesia for the procedure. According to the court documents, during the procedure he suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which is a brain injury caused by severe lack oxygen to the brain. He did not wake up as expected after the surgery, his family said in the lawsuit. Carlos reportedly fell off a ladder and fractured his leg. The injury required surgery. It was estimated to be two hours long, his family said.
According to the court documents, a jury awarded $21 million to the family of a man who suffered a catastrophic brain injury following a surgery to repair a broken leg. The 27-year-old assured his mother it would be a simple operation, but neither could have predicted what was to come. “A normal day for Carlos, I have to wake him up, clean him up, sit him down in his wheelchair, give him food,” his mother Wilda said in a video presented to the jury. The lawsuit alleges that Carlos was not informed a more qualified anesthesiologist was available and an option for him. Instead he was told a certified registered nurse anesthetist, or CRNA, would provide the anesthesia for his surgery.
At the time of Carlos’ surgery, one anesthesiologist was supervising four CRNAs, each in different operating rooms. Attorneys for Carlos and his family state that he wasn’t properly monitored throughout the surgery. Experts said his permanent brain damage which would have been indicated by low blood pressure; however, handwritten records did not indicate there was an issue. Yet, two nurse-anesthetists gave Carlos multiple doses of medication designed to increase blood pressure.
“We believe they created the handwritten record in order to cover up what really happened here, which was that Carlos’ blood pressure dropped and they didn’t address it quickly enough to protect his brain,” attorney Charla said in a statement. Following the surgery, Wilda said she sat through several meetings where it was suggested she take her son off life support. But she refused. According to the lawsuit, Carlos remains unable to walk or talk, is incontinent of bowel and bladder, and has the mental status of a young child. For the rest of his life, he will require 24-hour care. He will never be self-sufficient…He will be locked in a profoundly agitated, confused, and impaired state for the rest of his natural life.