Court Approves OSU Medical Center Patient’s Settlement

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The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will pay a Columbus woman more than half a million dollars to settle a claim over an emergency tracheostomy.

The Court of Claims of Ohio approved the settlement agreement of $550,000 on February 6.

According to a June 13, 2011 complaint, Pamela F. Turner explained to OSU Medical Center personnel her history of difficult intubation and of previously being told to advise any future anesthesiologist that she would require a fiberoptic intubation.

She shared that information during a pre-operative evaluation on July 2, 2010.

Despite those warnings and receiving her past medical records from another hospital, special precautions “were not taken by the anesthesia team” five days later in preparation for her cancer surgery, the complaint states.

Five unsuccessful intubation attempts resulted in Turner becoming “asystolic” (flat lining) and eventually in the emergency tracheostomy.

Because of the negligence, Turner cites her “shortness of breath, severe and permanent physical and emotional injuries,” the need to undergo a “potentially life-threatening surgical procedure,” and future medical expenses.

The complaint also cites the need for her husband to care for her and his loss of consortium.

The Court of Claims is given original jurisdiction to hear and determine all civil actions filed against the State of Ohio and its agencies.

Brett Crow is a reporter for Court News Ohio.