$3 Million Partial Settlement Delay in Diagnosing Acute Obstructive Hydrocephalus

Hospital Malpractice

The New York Injury & Malpractice Law Firm, P.C. recovered $3,000,000 as a partial settlement against the State of New York for the failure of its neurological surgeon to timely diagnose and treat acute obstructive hydrocephalus at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

The plaintiff, a 16-year old teenager, began experiencing sudden changes in her mental status, becoming agitated and unable to follow verbal commands several hours after an operation to remove a brain tumor.

Later that evening, a CT scan of the teenager’s brain revealed acute obstructive hydrocephalus [accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid] and a midline shift caused by increased pressure in the brain. Both conditions are medical emergencies and require immediate treatment to relieve pressure and swelling of the brain.

The results of the CT scan of the brain were conveyed to the attending neurological surgeon while he was at home, but he made the decision to remain home while the patient was treated by a fourth-year neurosurgical resident. The patient’s symptoms progressively worsened over the course of the night and early morning hours.

By the time the attending neurological surgeon returned to Upstate University Hospital the next morning for his regular shift, the patient was unresponsive and the pupils of her eyes had become fixed and dilated. A craniotomy (a surgery to remove part of the skull in an area where the brain swells) was performed, but the patient sustained irreversible brain damage as a result of the delay in treatment.

The partial $3 million recovery was part of a total recovery of $5 million against Upstate University Hospital and the neurological surgeon. The funds will be deposited into a supplemental needs trust that will ensure that the patient remains eligible for Medicaid and Medicare and will continue receiving the highest quality medical care.