Christian, 4, was brought to the hospital for a routine droopy eyelid repair. The hospital in a cost cutting measure had contracted out it’s anesthesia services to a third party corporation who were saving money by employing mostly nurse practitioners instead of trained doctors to administer anesthesia.
The nurse designated to anesthetize Christian was, as it turned out, not even certified. Only minutes after the child was wheeled in, his heart stopped from an overdose of Halothane gas and he ultimately was without oxygen for fifteen minutes. He had to be removed to another hospital where he had to be retrained to talk and walk again. Ultimately, at the time of trial eight years later, Christian was learning at a first grade level, couldn’t tie his shoes or ride a bike. The Hospital doctors claimed that he either had an allergic reaction to the gas, or was that way before the incident or both. Regardless, the defendants ultimately agreed to settle at the end of a five week trial before the jury deliberated.