Anesthesia Overdose Compounded by Series of Errors Leaves Child Severely Mentally Impaired May 2, 2011.

A 4-year-old who went to the hospital for eyelid surgery overdosed on halothane and stopped breathing.

"The child was assigned to an uncertified nurse anesthetist for halothane administration, rather than an anesthesiologist MD," said Christopher Mellino, a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio, who commented on the reported case. "There was no crash cart in the operating room and no doctor available to give CPR. The little boy went without oxygen for 15 minutes before he was taken to another hospital ER."

In short, a child who went to the hospital to have a droopy eyelid repaired returned home disabled and in need of care for the rest of his life. Statistics show that over 98,000 people a year die as a result of mistakes just like this one.

A jury determined that medical malpractice caused a number of egregious errors that took place that day, and it awarded the family $6.5 million.

"Not every bad outcome is medical malpractice," Mellino said. "However, allowing an uncertified nurse anesthetist to administer halothane to anyone, let alone a 4-year-old boy, without a crash cart and no doctor around was not only negligence, it’s incredibly stupid."

Mellino recently won a $3 million anesthesia mistake judgment for a patient and welcomes any questions you may have about a potential claim.