Attorneys Edward Rubin and Stephanie Rubin recently settled a Chicago medical malpractice case for a confidential amount. The plaintiff is a 42-year old woman who underwent elective subtotal hysterectomy on July 22, 2010 at a local hospital. Her primary diagnosis and indication for surgery was a large uterine fibroid making her uterus the size of a 30-week gestational pregnancy. The surgery was performed and she was taken to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) at approximately 4:00 p.m. At approximately 4:50 p.m., her condition took a dramatic turn for the worse when for approximately 15 minutes, she became unconscious. Defendants were unable to obtain her blood pressure and she became tachycardic. Plaintiff’s decedent remained hypotensive and tachycardic in the PACU where her hemoglobin dropped to 4.9. She received a blood transfusion at 6:45 p.m. and was not returned to the operating room until after for 7 p.m. for emergency exploratory laparotomy for suspected intraperitoneal bleeding. As suspected, the intraoperative findings were bleeding from the left uterine artery and the procedure performed was ligation of the left uterine artery.
During the period of her arrest in the PACU unit, attempts to contact the surgeon were unsuccessful. During this period of time, in the PACU she was followed by a resident physician. There was a delay in contacting the surgeon despite the efforts of the resident and hospital staff. When the surgeon did return to the hospital, he took the plaintiff to surgery.
The plaintiff suffered an anoxic brain injury due to a lack of perfusion to the brain. She has difficulties with memory, concentration and learning/retaining new skills.