It is medical malpractice in Oregon to incorrectly prepare someone for surgery if that negligent preparation directly results in serious injury or death to the patient. A jury in another state recently awarded $9.1 million to a man who became paralyzed due to improper pre-operative treatment that left him seriously dehydrated so that his spinal cord got inadequate blood flow before and during the operation. The jury agreed with the plaintiff's theory that this pre-operative care fell below the required minimal standard and thus constituted medical malpractice.
The patient was being prepared to undergo surgery for a perforated bowel. The man was being treated for dehydration, but that was stopped when the anesthesiologist started medicating him an hour before the surgery. This caused a precipitous drop in blood pressure and a deprivation of blood flow to the spinal cord.
The verdict includes amounts entered into the trial record that would be required to provide intensive rehabilitation to the plaintiff and other required medical treatment and care for the rest of his life. The plaintiff had to sell his business as a result of the paralysis. It is likely that lost profits were a part of the award. Of course, the verdict would also include pain and suffering, past, present and future, along with medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs.
The defendant doctor and clinic denied that the pre-operative care was substantially responsible for the paralysis, but the jury agreed with the plaintiff's experts on that issue. The plaintiff is reportedly looking forward to resuming the intensive rehabilitation therapy sessions that he had to give up when his money ran out. With respect to liability, the reported negligence would likely constitute medical malpractice in Oregon due to similar negligence principles from state to state.
Source: insurancejournal.com, "Minnesota Jury Awards Mechanic $9.1M in Medical Malpractice Suit", Oct. 19, 2015