Crandall & Pera Law will always fight on behalf of those who have sustained serious injuries because of medical negligence. That is why we are proud to announce that firm co-founder Marc Pera has obtained a $515,000 medical malpractice verdict against a General Surgeon in Cincinnati on behalf of the family of Monica McKnight. Before going to trial, the defense offered our client nothing.
The case itself was simple. Ms. McKnight was in the thrall of kidney failure. Because of the advanced stage of her illness, she was only given six years to live. She had to undergo a treatment called hemodialysis (commonly shortened to dialysis). Hemodialysis literally cleans your body of toxins and removes excess fluid when your kidneys no longer can. Per the National Kidney Foundation, “In hemodialysis, a dialysis machine and a special filter called an artificial kidney, or a dialyzer, are used to clean your blood. To get your blood into the dialyzer, the doctor needs to make an access, or entrance, into your blood vessels.”
There are three ways a doctor can create an access into your blood vessels:
- Through an arteriovenous (AV) fistula, which connects an artery to a vein
- Through an AV graft, where a small tube is used to connect an artery to a vein (usually for people with small or blocked veins)
- With a catheter, which is usually inserted into the jugular vein
But instead of inserting the catheter into the jugular, the surgeon inserted it into the carotid artery.
Arteries and veins do very different jobs
Despite the prevalence of popular media using these two terms interchangeably, there is a vast difference between arteries and veins. Arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Specifically, the carotid artery carries blood from the heart to the head and neck.
Veins carry deoxygenated blood from the body to the heart. The jugular vein in particular carries blood from the head and neck back to the heart.
What happened to Ms. McKnight?
Because the catheter was inserted into the carotid artery and not the jugular vein, blood clots developed. These clots traveled to Ms. McKnight’s brain, and caused her to have a stroke the same day as the surgery was performed. She died four days later, as a result.
This was not a “silly” mistake; no doctor should ever mix up the carotid with the jugular. Furthermore, this act of medical malpractice cost the family of Monica McKnight precious time – time she did not have much of, given the advanced stage of her illness – with her, because she was denied the effective treatment she needed to survive. It caused Monica and her family undue pain, suffering and stress, and stole six years of her life away. Yet, despite the blatant surgical error, the insurance company refused to offer any compensation at all before the verdict was rendered.
Thanks to the efforts of Marc Pera, however, Ms. McKnight’s family can rest a little easier tonight, knowing that justice has been served, and that the surgeon has been held accountable for his negligence.
Crandall & Pera Law, LLC provides comprehensive counsel to victims of medical malpractice throughout Ohio and Kentucky. Our experienced trial attorneys fight on behalf of those who have suffered because of careless mistakes. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team, please call 877-686-8879, or fill out our contact form.