Perez v. Hahnemann University Hospital, et al. Failure to prevent nerve damage during surgical wisdom teeth extraction.
While under general anesthesia, Plaintiff underwent an extraction of all four wisdom teeth. Prior to the operation, Plaintiff had no cranial nerve damage, no abnormal speech, and no hearing loss. Immediately after the operation, Plaintiff suffered from cranial nerve damage, consequent severe speech pathology, and consequent left-sided hearing loss. Extensive discovery was taken in an attempt to determine exactly what happened to the plaintiff during the surgery to cause her cranial nerve damage and consequent speech and hearing pathology. These efforts were thwarted because the anesthesia record for this surgery was suspiciously lost. Multiple copies of the anesthesia record were created. However all copies were suspiciously misplaced. The anesthesia record notes Plaintiff’s vital signs during the operation in 15-minute intervals. Interruption of adequate oxygen to the patient during the operation would be reflected and evident by a change in vital signs reflected on the anesthesia record. The jury was convinced that there was an anesthesia mishap causing Plaintiff’s injuries and found the attending anesthesiologist and the anesthesiology resident equally responsible for the Plaintiff’s injuries.