Analisa Ramos, a 22-year-old Pennsylvania woman, was the plaintiff in a trial for a medical malpractice case that accused two doctors and a nurse of negligent action in providing care, leading to significant bleeding from her brain region. Ramos underwent a C-section for the birth of her son and has been a quadriplegic, meaning paralyzed in four limbs, ever since the procedure.
During surgery at Lancaster General Women & Babies Hospital it was alleged that Dr. Paul Visneski, Dr. Robert Chen, and Robert Connors, a nurse anesthetist, did not adhere to professional standards of care. The trial, which was estimated to run for two-weeks, began in October and the confidential resolution was reached on the ninth day of proceedings. The defendants denied the allegations and felt the outcome was unavoidable.
Ramos was 35 weeks along in her pregnancy when her physician noticed an abnormality involving her placenta and umbilical cord. She then went immediately to the hospital where she later had the surgery. The central issue in the matter was if her bleeding from the brain was a direct result of improper medical practice and if the tragic conclusion could have been prevented.
Her attorney explained that the defendants demonstrated a failure to take action that led to her intracerebral hemorrhage. Presently, she is not able to talk; however, she testified during the trial and can communicate with signals and assistance from an electronic device. She is essentially in a “fixed state” but has awareness. In addition, she suffers from incontinence, is fed through a tube, and is not capable of embracing her son. She resides with her mother and receives regular assistance from an in-home health care provider.
Plaintiff counsel believed the practitioners should have detected the early signs of preeclampsia, a complication involved in pregnancies that may bring show symptoms of high blood pressure and organ failure. The claim asserted that the doctors failed to test her urine for protein and failed to respond in a timely manner upon her complaints of nausea and headache.
Ramos, who was 15-years-old at the time, had begun vomiting and having severe headaches after receiving spinal anesthesia, when the procedure was underway. Defense counsel argued that their care provided met the professional standards. They responded explaining that her pre-surgical vital signs were good and her conditions all are quite common for those under anesthesia. The defense had not yet rested their case on the day the settlement was reached.
The suit did not specifically state the total in damages that the plaintiffs were seeking. An economic expert witness during the trial projected the likely costs for Ramos’ current and future costs of care. These findings indicated the annual expense for her medical care would be approximately $450,000. Her estimated future losses of earnings were said to be between $760,000 and $1.9 million. Court documents showed the most recent offer made (which was declined) during the litigation had been $2 million.