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Anesthesia Errors Leave Florida Man Unable To Move, Communicate

A Lauderdale Lakes man now calls Georgia home. He was left in a vegetative state, unable to move or to communicate other than through blinking his eyes after an anesthesia error left him without oxygen to his brain for approximately five minutes. The man is with family in Georgia now who, along with a care team, provides in-home comfort and care for him.

A Florida jury recently awarded him $27.5 million to cover his past and future medical expenses that have resulted from the improper monitoring of his vitals while under anesthesia. He was awarded an additional $5 million to attempt to cover his pain and suffering.

Dale Whyte was engaged to be married and the father of two young girls when he underwent manipulation under anesthesia in 2008. Both of his children were awarded $5 million each by the jury for the lifetime loss of a father who can no longer actively participate in their lives.

His Florida medical malpractice attorneys argued that the procedure wasn't even warranted in his case, aside from the fact that an anesthesia error permanently and catastrophically changed his life. The procedure was performed in Pompano Beach, at the Atlantic Surgical Center.

Manipulation under anesthesia or MUA is commonly used to treat chronic pain or to reestablish mobility in a tight joint. The patient is lightly anesthetized so that the health care provider can move, align, or realign joints without the patient going through the severe pain associated with that movement. A patient should be conscious during the procedure, but relaxed enough to allow the treating health care professional to manipulate his or her joints without the normal resistance that would be felt from a patient not under anesthesia.

Source: South Florida Times, "Jury Hits 2 Doctors With $38.5 Million In Medical Negligence Verdict," May 23, 2013

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