Improper administration of propofol

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Verdicts & Settlements: Medicine

December 18, 2012

Improper administration of propofol 

Theresa Oden, 45, underwent successful cardiac bypass surgery at Springhill Memorial Hospital. Her condition remained good for several hours after the operation. After a nursing shift change in the cardiac recovery unit, a nurse with less than two months experience took over Oden’s care. The nurse administered Propofol to Oden, which caused her to lapse into a coma. About 25 minutes later, the nurse called for help; however, Oden suffered respiratory depression and died. She is survived by her husband and three adult children.

Oden’s husband, on behalf of her estate, sued the hospital, alleging the nurse administered an overdose of Propofol, left Oden without the protection of a mechanical ventilator, and failed to timely summon help. Suit also charged that the hospital and nurse engaged in a cover up by, among other things, altering records and discarding the pump used to administer the drug. The plaintiff did not claim lost income.

The jury awarded $15 million. The parties later settled for a confidential amount.

Citation: Oden v. Springhill Hosps., Inc., No. 2010-900421-RPS (Ala., Mobile Co. Cir. Oct. 2012).

Plaintiff counsel: Joseph M. Brown Jr. and AAJ member J. Brian Duncan Jr., both of Mobile, Ala.

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