$600,000 Settlement in Medical Malpractice Action Against Anesthesiologist and CRNA for Puncturing Spinal Cord

The plaintiff was admitted to the hospital for purposes of performing a total knee replacement surgery. The anesthesia was supposed to be delivered by the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist without the patient's knowledge and consent delegated the delivery of the anesthesia to the CRNA. During the course of the anesthesia the CRNA made 2 to 3 attempts inserting the epidural needle into the epidural space, but was unsuccessful. As a result, she requested the assistance of the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist then made 2 attempts before successfully inserting the needle. After the operation, she immediately began showing signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome and suffers from permanent numbness in the buttocks area, decreased sensations in the vaginal area and bilateral leg weakness. The plaintiff filed suit alleging that the anesthesiologist and CRNA negligently inserted the epidural needle causing it to strike the spinal cord and cause the plaintiff's cauda equina syndrome. The case settled in presuit.