endoscopic sinus surgery suffered detachment of the extraocular muscle resulting in double vision that required further surgical intervention.
A jury found against the ENT and ambulatory surgery center rewarding $2.5 million dollars to not only the patient, but also the wife "for loss of consortium".
Damage to the eye and vision is part of the normal consent process for endoscopic sinus surgery when considering the geographic proximity of the eye and sinus cavities.
Eye muscle injury as in this case is particularly relevant when surgery is performed on the ethmoid sinus cavity which is located between the eyes (purple in illustration). Risk of injury is even higher when powered instruments are used like a diego sinus shaver.
Although informed consent appears to have been present, the jury still found for the patient:
- $1.5 million to Mr. Dias for pain and suffering
- $0.5 million for loss of service
- $0.5 million to his wife for loss of consortium.
This case appears to suggest that informed consent does not really provide any legal protection. A bad outcome regardless of consent implies sufficient cause for lawsuit... and winning.
This case also suggests that any bad outcome can affect a patient's ability to have intimate relations with a spouse which is sufficient cause for lawsuit and winning.
I wonder if I now have to add to the informed consent (which may not afford me any legal protection) the possibility of "loss of consortium" with a spouse.
Patient Awarded $2.5 Million After Suffering Endoscopic Sinus Errors. Outpatient Surgery Magazine 9/5/12
September 12, 2012
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