The decedent experienced cardiac arrest during an outpatient endoscopy and passed away, leaving behind a wife and three adult children as well as three adult step-children. Plaintiff contended that the anesthetist negligently used large, one-size-fits-all bolus doses of Propofol to sedate the decedent before the procedure.
Plaintiff contended that the decedent suffered respiratory arrest which led to cardiac arrest shortly after the procedure began and that the anesthetist failed to recognize warning signs that the decedent’s airway was obstructed, causing systemic shock and anoxic brain injury. Plaintiff contended that the standard of care required Propofol to be dosed according to a patient’s weight and other risk factors for airway compromise, including a thick neck and tongue.
Defendants pointed to the decedent’s undiagnosed and untreated cardiac condition as the cause of death. Defendants contended that the dosing of Propofol was appropriate given the patient’s history of combative emergence from anesthesia and that they could not have predicted a cardiac problem they were not informed of prior to the procedure. Defendants further contended that, retrospectively, the patient’s underlying heart condition was deteriorating rapidly before the procedure and the patient could have experienced cardiac arrest at any time.