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Virginia family receives settlement for malpractice lawsuit

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A Virginia family is now able to conclude the legal battle that began after a surgery that left their daughter with permanent brain damage. The family has obtained a settlement of $1.8 million in the medical malpractice case that has had a tremendous impact on their lives.

In 2012, a Virginia Tech professor and his wife took their toddler daughter to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. At the time, she was experiencing a number of medical ailments, including respiratory distress and systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS.)

The child underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. The procedure involves inserting a small camera into a patient's chest by use of a scope. During the operation, the anesthesiologist used a single lung ventilation method, through which one lung could be ventilated independently. During surgery, the child's oxygen levels declined rapidly and she suffered cardiac arrest. According to the lawsuit, it was this series of events that led the child, who before the procedure was alert and happy, to develop permanent brain damage. The lawsuit alleges that the doctors had a responsibility to end the procedure when it became evident that single lung ventilation was not properly supporting the child's oxygen levels.

According to the lawsuit, in addition to the injury itself, the child has experienced emotional distress, mental pain and suffering and will also suffer from a diminished earning capacity in the future and a loss of income. The $1.8 million settlement, which was approved by a judge, will involve a series of payments. The girl will receive approximately $5,000 a month for 50 years upon becoming an adult. Additionally, she will receive lump-sum payments of $50,000 via a special needs trust fund that is held in the child's name.

This settlement will not be able to cure this Virginia family's child, but the compensation may be able to ease some of the financial burdens and medical expenses that come with having a child with a brain injury.

Source:, "Virginia Tech professor and family settle with Carilion for $1.8 million", Cameron Austin, Oct. 14, 2015

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