Posted: January 22, 2016

It was only a matter of time before a jury in Pennsylvania or another American court heard a medical malpractice case like the one our lawyers successfully litigated on behalf of Bonnie Semple.

In 2015, Kline & Specter medical malpractice attorneys Michael A. Trunk and Gary Zakeosian won a $2.8 million verdict in Ms. Semple's lawsuit, which was initiated after she suffered irreversible damage to her larynx and trachea as the result of an emergency room doctor's error.

Our "MedMal" lawyers established that a surgeon at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Delaware County improperly performed an emergency tracheotomy after Semple was placed in his care with injuries sustained during a car accident.

But this medical malpractice victory also points to the ongoing challenge emergency rooms face when it comes to successfully preparing doctors and other medical personnel to perform delicate procedures in fast-paced, high-pressure settings.

Intubation, for instance, is an emergency procedure that has long been problematic for ER docs.

The National Institutes of Health determined in 2006 — the most recent year for which statistics are available — that 22 percent of emergency-room intubation attempts were flawed. That number is as high as 40 percent when the intubation is performed by a paramedic, according to NIH research.

The medical trade journal Emergency Physicians Monthly reports that these intubation errors tend to happen for two general reasons:

  • Common Intubation Error No. 1: Doctors fail to take advantage of the subtle, often difficult-to-see visual clues regarding an individual's proper intubation path.
  • Common Intubation Error No. 2: Doctors fail to properly position the patient to find the most comfortable and safe intubation path.

But no matter how challenging the procedure, our attorneys' win in Bonnie Semple v. Mohammed Budeir, M.D. proves that quality patient care in the face of an emergency is paramount.

If you or someone you love was victimized by a botched medical procedure in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, please contact Kline & Specter, PC, in Philadelphia to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys: 800-243-1100.