advertiser banner advertiser banner advertiser banner
Digital Issues

Home >  News >  June, 2014

Woman Awakens During Gall Bladder Surgery, Dies from Heart Failure

Jury agrees she should have been intubated, awards $7.9 million.

Published: June 23, 2014

The family of a woman who died in 2009 after complications during gall bladder surgery has won a $7.9 million malpractice judgment.

The lawyer for the family of 24-year-old Nicki Costner, who was 5-foot-2 and weighed 270 pounds, argued that she should have been intubated and given a general anesthetic during the laparoscopic procedure because she was obese.

According to news reports, Ms. Costner was given propofol, but woke up during the procedure, thrashed about, gasped for air and screamed in pain for 20 or 30 seconds before losing consciousness. Her condition deteriorated and she eventually went into cardiac arrest. She was airlifted to the University of Michigan hospital, but several days later she suffered another cardiac arrest and died.

"They should have used a general anesthetic and an endotracheal tube to decrease the likelihood of complications, they did not do that and she aspirated her stomach contents," said the family's attorney in a news release. "She stopped breathing, got very sick on the respirator, was transferred to (another hospital) and died five days later."

The jury returned a unanimous verdict in the case against anesthesiologist William E. Clay, MD, and William Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Point, Mich.

Spokesman Bob Ortlieb said the hospital plans to appeal, adding, "We believe the care that we provided was appropriate, but we are very sorry for the family's loss."

Dr. Clay did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Outpatient Surgery.

Jim Burger


Also in the News...

Alabama Hospital Files Suit to Halt Construction of Competitor's ASC
Doris Parker, RN, Returns Today to Her Native Liberia to Help Curb Ebola
Participation High in Medicare's ASC Quality Reporting
Health Plan of Nevada Settles Hepatitis C Lawsuits
New Treatment for Obesity Relies on Embolization
Plastic Surgeon Accused of Writing Fake Prescriptions to Fuel His Addiction
Nurses Strike for Ebola Safety

 
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

DID YOU SEE THIS?
Infection Control

This Pre-op Shower Kit Really Works

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

News & Notes

News & Notes

Our 2014 Salary Survey Results Are In

See how your paycheck compares to your colleagues in Outpatient Surgery Magazine's 2014 Salary Survey.