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$280K Wrongful Death Award for Anesthesiologist's Error; Upstate New York


Posted on Nov 03, 2011

A $280,000 verdict for pain and suffering was handed down last week to the family of a Plattsburgh woman, who died because of an anesthesiologist's negligence at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH).

70-year-old Ruth Rosoff was admitted to CVPH on November 11, 2007 with an infected bladder. She was suffering from septic shock, or dangerously low blood pressure due to a terrible infection. The medical team could not operate because Ms. Rosoff was suffering from further complications of diabetes and chronic kidney problems. For weeks, they worked to, "get her blood levels in line before" the fatal procedure on December 11.

Dr. Richard Todd, the anesthesiologist, checked blood pressure readings, which were confirmed earlier in the day to be normal. There were signs, however, of dehydration. By the time of surgery, Ms. Rosoff's blood pressure had fallen to 70 over 30 -- a dangerous level. Dr. Bijoy Samaroy performed a laparoscopic procedure (minimally invasive surgery, using camera tubes to enter body cavities) without being aware of the blood pressure readings. After surgery, the blood pressure had fallen slightly more, at which point Dr. Todd prescribed medication to raise Ms. Rosoff's blood pressure. He also gave her 200 ccs of fluid and called for Dr. Samaroy. Upon discovering the dire situation, Dr. Samaroy ordered 500 ccs more fluid. Her primary care physician (PCP) was then summoned and he ordered a transfusion, which took hours to provide.

Ms. Rosoff was pronounced dead at 4:00am on December 12 of intra-abdominal bleeding and persistent low blood pressure. Both Dr. Samaroy and the PCP agreed Dr. Todd had departed from protocol, contributing substantially to the death.

As a practicing medical malpractice and wrongful death attorney in New York, I deal with the horrific consequences of medical negligence like this every day. If you would like more information about how medical malpractice and wrongful cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website. If you have legal questions,  I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.

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