An Idaho jury has awarded $3.85 million to a married couple after the wife suffered a catastrophic brain injury as the result of alleged improper removal of a catheter from her neck. According to the lawsuit, while in the hospital a nurse improperly removed a central venous catheter line which caused the patient to suffer an air embolism and stroke, resulting in irreversible brain damage.
The defendants conceded that the stroke was caused by an air embolism and that the likely reason for the occurrence was the nurse’s failure to position the patient flat on her back while removing the catheter. They defended the case principally on damages, i.e., how much money is appropriate to compensate her and her husband for their losses.
The jury’s award included almost $100,000 in past medical bills, $178,000 to cover modifications to the home to make it handicap-accessible, $1.4 million for future medical expenses and $1.5 million for past and future pain, suffering, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life. The jury also awarded $350,000 to the couple for loss of consortium.