In 2008, a girl in another state was being treated for a heart defect, when miscommunication between cardiologist resulted in an incorrectly prescribed medication. This case of medical malpractice resulted in significant brain damage. The doctors prescribed a nasal spray, which blocked off the girls airways, resulting in her brain being deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time.
After being born with a defect, the girl underwent a heart transplant, and was being treated at a hospital when the error occurred.
Now, because of the medical malpractice, the girl will need constant care for the rest of her life. According to a report, the girl isn't able to walk, talk, or even swallow, and will need nursing care 24 hours a day for the rest of her life.
Not only do brain injuries require expensive emergency care, but the effects of the injuries can result in the need for intense follow-up care and even long-term care. A nurse that must attend to a patient around the clock can be extremely expenses, which is why the family was awarded a very high amount after the lawsuit.
The judge in the case found that the doctors failed to communicate properly with each other, and the girl's mother, which resulted in the injuries. The family was awarded 15.2 million because of the medical malpractice. Much of this money will be used to help care for the girl over her lifetime, and help improve her quality of life to the extent that it is possible with her injuries.
Source: Insurance Journal, "University of Washington to Pay $15M After Medical Mistake," July 16, 2013