Tag Archives: paraplegia

Court of Appeal confirms anaesthetist liable for paraplegia

Mr Brendan Hobson, the respondent, suffered from a disorder which affected his ability to fill his lungs with air and, accordingly, restricted his breathing capacity. His prognosis was grave and corrective surgery in two stages was recommended. The first operation was successful, however, the second – on 17 November 2009 – was terminated before its intended conclusion. As a result of this second operation, the respondent became a paraplegic.

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Surgery leads to paraplegia and liability

The Supreme Court of New South Wales considered the duty of care owed by an orthopaedic surgeon and anaesthetist to a patient during an operative procedure in Hobson v Northern Sydney Local Health District [2017] NSWSC 589.

Mr Hobson suffered from Noonan syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents normal development of various body parts. The development of Mr Hobson’s chest was affected by the syndrome and he suffered from severe lordoscoliosis (backward and lateral curvature of the spine) resulting in breathing difficulties which required surgical intervention. It was determined that two separate surgical procedures would be required.

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