Anesthesiologist settles case where teen suffered brain injury for $9.38M

An anesthesiologist and the family of a patient reached a $9.38 million settlement Aug. 18, over claims the anesthesiologist failed to provide proper care, which caused the patient to suffer cardiac arrest, the New Jersey Law Journal reports.

The settlement was approved in court Aug. 18.

Sergio Munoz, then 15, went into a surgery center to have a torn anterior cruciate ligament repaired Dec. 19, 2014. Janak Sarkaria, MD, of Summit (N.J.) Anesthesia Associates provided anesthesia services. After the surgeon left the operating room once the procedure was complete, Mr. Munoz's heart rate and oxygen level dropped and he went into cardiac arrest.

Dr. Sarkaria and the remaining medical staff performed CPR. Mr. Munoz was transferred from the surgery center to a hospital. The hospital stabilized him and then diagnosed him with chronic static encephalopathy.

Mr. Munoz's family sued Dr. Sarkaria, claiming he "failed to provide the appropriate anesthesia to [Mr. Munoz], failed to recognize the emergency when his heart rate and oxygen levels dropped, and failed to recognize the reason for his falling vital signs."

Dr. Sarkaria denied liability in the settlement.

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