A 63-year-old man died following surgery to remove a benign ear mass at a surgi-center. The man had multiple health issues that included coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. Prior to surgery, the man had a high blood sugar reading, and the anesthesiologist assessed him as having severe systemic disease. In spite of these issues, both the ENT surgeon and anesthesiologist allowed the operation to go forward. Although the man had obstructive sleep apnea, steps were not taken to guard against an upper airway obstruction post extubation. Upon arrival in recovery, the man was apneic and unresponsive. The anesthesiologist twice attempted to re-intubate, but doctors failed to perform a tracheostomy. Paramedics took the man to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Dan Hodes with Hodes Milman, LLP represented the plaintiff’s family; the case resolved for $650,000 following mediation.
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