Family awarded $22.5M for baby's injuries after anesthesia complications at UW Health

Wisconsin awarded $22.5 million to the family of an infant whose likely permanent brain damage may have resulted from surgical anesthesia at UW Health's American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wis., according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

The key details:

1. The 6-week-old child, Venkatasathvik Mallidi, underwent surgery in April 2016 for a condition in which his spinal cord stuck to surrounding tissue.

2. The surgery was successful, but the anesthesia that was administered allegedly caused brain damage. The boy, now 3, cannot walk, speak or see. He will likely function at the level of a 2-year-old for the rest of his life, according to the family's attorney.

3. The family's lawsuit alleges that Michael Chalifoux, MD, the anesthesia resident involved in the procedure, didn't appropriately address prolonged low blood pressure readings. Dr. Chalifoux is now an anesthesiologist at Springfield, Mass.-based Baystate Health and did not respond to the Wisconsin State Journal's request for comment.

4. State prosecutors and Dr. Chalifoux argued that his supervising physician, an unnamed UW-Madison employee, was responsible for the child's injuries.

5. Most of the settlement money went into two accounts designated for the boy's long-term care. The injured child's parents received about $1.9 million, and $4.5 million went toward attorney fees.

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