Hospital to Pay $4.7M For Botching Anesthesia

Jury awards woman $4.7 million

A Broward County jury has ruled a woman should be paid nearly $5 million for a botched procedure at Broward General Medical Center in 2007.

Susan Kalitan was supposed to have surgery on her hand to fix her carpal tunnel, but complications with the anesthesia she was given resulted in emergency surgery and a lawsuit.

Thursday, the jury awarded her $4.7 million.

“It was just very, very frightening” Kalitan said.

Broward Health officials said Friday they disagreed with the jury's decision. Attorneys said they plan to appeal the decision.

"Ms. Kalitan had an unfortunate yet known complication of anesthesia. It is not indicative of any negligence on the part of her health care providers and we do not believe that there was negligence or an issue with the standard of care we provided to her," a statement read.

Kalitan's attorneys claimed the instruments used on their client during general anesthesia perforated Kalitan's esophagus.

“So they punched a hole in the tube that runs down to her tummy where food goes. Unfortunately she was discharged from the hospital inappropriately and went home,” her attorney Crane Johnstone said. “Everything she swallowed ended up going through the hole in her esophagus and into her chest cavity.”

The following day, Kalitan was rushed to West Side Regional where she had emergency surgery and was in intensive care for weeks. She needed a feeding tube and couldn't swallow for months.

Kalitan says she still has some trouble swallowing. Her attorneys claim she was unaware a student nurse would be part of the anesthesia team.

“It's important to sit down and discuss everything that's going to happen, all your options," Kalitan said.

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