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Patient files lawsuit claiming breach of standard of care

Many Louisiana residents have experienced joint replacement surgery at some point in their lives. Due to a rapidly aging population and an increase in life expectancy over the last few decades, this type of surgery is likely becoming more common. As with any medical procedure, most patients undergoing a joint replacement feel some trepidation before putting their well-being in the hands of the medical professionals responsible for their care. However, most patients trust that the physicians and others involved in the process will provide the expected standard of care to ensure a successful outcome.

Unfortunately, such was not the case for a man in a different state who recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against his anesthesiologist following knee replacement surgery, claiming negligence and a breach of standard of care. According to the lawsuit, the man underwent the surgery in June 2017. The plaintiff alleges that the anesthesiologist ordered he be given 100 mcg of fentanyl as a preoperative medication.

Allegedly, following administration of the prescribed drug, the patient became unconscious, stopped breathing and lost cardiac function. The suit states that 100 mcg of this drug is a significant dose that can result in cardiac depression, among other complications.  Apparently, the patient did not show any signs of pain or anxiety at the time the dose was administered, leading him to claim the anesthesiologist's choice of drug was suspect. The plaintiff seeks compensation for past, present and future insult, injury, pain and suffering, as well as compensation for medical expenses.

Most people scheduled for surgery assume doctors will prescribe them some medication during their time in the hospital. However, patients also assume they will receive an appropriate standard of care, including being given only necessary medications. Unfortunately, sometimes, as may have happened in this example, a medical professional will be negligent in his or her care. Many Louisiana patients who feel they have been a victim of similar negligence seek monetary compensation through a civil lawsuit, as this patient has. An attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases can provide valuable legal guidance.

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