John J. Hopkins & Associates

Surgical errors leave child with brain damage

Even routine medical procedures carry their risks. In fact, surgical errors are fast becoming one of the most common causes of injury and death in Illinois and across the country. One family in another state will likely spend the rest of their lives struggling with the consequences of a medical mistake in the aftercare of their son following a routine procedure.

The 2-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital to have his tonsils and adenoids removed because his obstructed airway resulted in sleep apnea. After the procedure, he was moved to a recovery area where he soon began having difficulty breathing. Nevertheless, the surgeon took no action, instead leaving the child under the watch of a nurse and a resident. In fact, the attending physician claims the surgeon instructed him not to intubate the patient, although the surgeon denies giving this order.

Around 5 p.m., the child's oxygen level dropped, and he went into cardiac and respiratory arrest. Doctors then intubated him, but he had been without oxygen for too long. The toddler suffered brain damage and developed a seizure disorder. The family filed a lawsuit against the doctors, the anesthesiologist and the hospital, and the lawsuit was recently settled for over $2 million.

It is likely that any parents in Illinois would be devastated to learn that a negligent act resulted in the permanent disability of their small child. Surgical errors, including those that involve anesthesia and improper aftercare, can result in lifelong suffering. As this family did, parents whose children suffer from medical malpractice have the option of seeking legal counsel.

Source: nj.com, "Family of boy left brain damaged after tonsil surgery settles for $4.25M", Jeff Goldman, August 11, 2017

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ALTON —Like any successful trial lawyer, John Hopkins knows the importance of preparation. But he usually doesn’t write out the questions he plans to ask witnesses in depositions or in court.

“I like to react to what the witness is saying—not only what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it,” Hopkins says.

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