Days into a month-long medical malpractice trial Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder gave jurors a day off so that one of them could try to recover from the flu.

Instead of dismissing the sick juror and selecting an alternate, Crowder temporarily suspended proceedings in a trial against an anesthesiologist accused of over-sedating a patient.

Ernest McCray filed the suit in 2001, on behalf of Christina McCray, a disabled adult.

Christina was a patient of Timothy Kurt, M.D. who is the head of the anesthesia department at Anderson Hospital in Maryville.

According to the eighth amended complaint, Kurt was providing anesthesia for Christina as she underwent a right hand carpal tunnel surgery on July 6, 2001.

Represented by Drew Baebler of St. Louis, McCray claims Christina was over-sedated by the anesthesia team, including Kurt, causing her to become bradycardic, hypotensive and hypoxic which caused severe and permanent brain damage.

McCray claims Kurt failed to apply the knowledge and skill ordinarily used by a reasonably well qualified physician or director of anesthesia services.

During the trial Baebler will try to prove that Kurt negligently and carelessly:

  • Failed to adequately supervise Nurse McClenahan;

  • Failed to administer anesthesia to Christina consistent with the recommendations of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA);

  • Failed to develop regulations for the safe administration of anesthesia to Christina;

  • Failed to monitor and evaluate the anesthesia service provided to Christina;

  • Failed to properly assess Christina's pre-op risks;

  • Violated the Nursing and Advanced Practice Nursing Act by failing to discuss with the nurse anesthetist the anesthesia plan and by failing to remain physically present and be available on the premises during the delivery of the anesthesia; and

  • Failed to inform co-defendant Dr. Collins that Christina had been transferred to a different operating room so that Dr. Collins could supervise the anesthesia given to Christina.

    Baebler will also try to prove that Kurt failed to issue directives to the anesthesia department and to Anderson Hospital and that Kurt failed to issue directives that Atropine, Epinephrine and Ephedrine must be mixed up prior to the surgery's commencement.

    He will try to prove that Kurt failed to inform Christina that a CRNA would administer the anesthesia, failed to issue a proper and detailed order for Christina's anesthesia plan and that he failed to ensure that the anesthesia machine alarms were activated prior to surgery.

    Christina is now in a coma and will remain in a coma for the rest of her life, Baebler states.

    According to Baebler, all of her organs have been affected and because of her condition Christina requires 24-hour skilled nursing care in a skilled nursing environment.

    Baebler will argue that the cost of her future medical care will be in the millions of dollars and that Christina has lost the ability to communicate and share her life with her sons.

    He will also argue that Christina has lost the ability to earn income and fringe benefits for her family.

    Kurt is represented Jeffrey Glass, while co-defendant Collins is represented by Tim Richards. They both deny they deviated from the standards of care.

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