Dr. Santangelo's client developed a pneumothorax during a relatively minor surgical procedure that went untreated until it was too late. A pneumothorax or collapsed lung is when there is a hole in the lung and it allows air in the pleural cavity or area surrounding the lung. You can read more about pneumothorax on the National Library of Medicine's web page.
In Dr. Santangelo's medical malpractice case, a patient underwent a relatively minor surgery. During the procedure, the patient had a very good oxygenation level. As the procedure progressed, the patient's oxygenation or saturation level started to decrease and he required more oxygen. His oxygenation level got so bad; they had to put an oxygen breathing mask on him. No one seemed concerned about this and he was sent to the recovery room. The patient's oxygenation level continued to fall and at times he was cyanotic or had a bluish color to him. Anesthesia was called to the bedside, but was told to wait until the surgeon inserted a chest tube. By the time he was intubated or put on the ventilator (breathing machine), the patient suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or a lack of blood and oxygen to the brain and irreversible brain damage. He never recovered and was taken off life support.
Developing a pneumothorax is not always due to medical malpractice. In fact, many times, a pneumothorax is either caused by an underlying lung problem or listed as a risk of a procedure. In this case, a pneumothorax was listed as a risk of the procedure on the surgical consent form. However, that does not excuse the doctor or surgeon from recognizing, diagnosing and treating the pneumothorax once it occurred.
Here at the Philadelphia Beasley medical malpractice law firm, we have specialized teams of doctors and critical care nurses who have cared for patients who developed a pneumothorax, breathing difficulties or wrongful death. Since 1958, we have been awarded numerous million and multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of injured patients. If you or a loved one developed a pneumothorax that was not properly diagnosed or treated, please feel free to call one of our experienced lawyers, doctors or nurses at (215) 866-2424 for a strictly confidential and free consultation.