If a doctor and nurse ignored a medical condition of mine that I disclosed tothem and I ended up in the ICU as a result,are theyliable?

UPDATED: Sep 10, 2011

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If a doctor and nurse ignored a medical condition of mine that I disclosed tothem and I ended up in the ICU as a result,are theyliable?

I was to have hand surgery 10 days ago. I informed the anesthesiologist and anesthesia nurse that I am allergic to caine drugs. They doubted me because it is very rare. I suggested they call my allergist and they refused. They administered general anesthesia and sprayed my throat with a numbing spray. I went into anaphylaxsis. It contained lidocaine. I was kept in ICU until the following evening because I was in a 72 hour danger zone. The nurse admitted she gave it to me and was very apologetic. I had to reschedule the surgery and and quite afraid to have it. I don’t want this to happen again. Should I speak to a malpractice attorney? In Wilmington, NC.

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Malpractice Law, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.

Medical malpractice is based on negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care in this case that a reasonable anesthesiologist in the same community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  You should obtain your medical bill from the ICU, medical report and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bill is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straighrt reimbursement.  The medical report will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bill.  Prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carriers for the anesthesiologist and the hospital where the hand surgery occurred.  The nurse is an employee of the hospital and the hospital would be liable for the negligence of an employee that occurred during the course and scope of employment.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers for the doctor and the hospital, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor, nurse and hospital.  If the case is settled with one or more of the parties, then a lawsuit would only be filed against the party/parties with whom settlement had not been reached.  If the case is settled with all parties, then no lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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