Lawsuit: Popular NJ Principal Dies Of Botched Anesthesia

New York (CNN) The fiancée of a beloved New Jersey high school principal who died earlier this year while attempting to donate bone marrow to a child has filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that doctors treating him were negligent.

Derrick Nelson was described as a man of dignity and courage by his fiancée Sheronda Braker, who is the mother of his 5-year-old daughter.

Braker filed a lawsuit in Union County Superior Court on Monday for malpractice involved in the treatment of Nelson.

The defendants are Jerry Baratta, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack Anesthesiology Associates of New Jersey Healthcare Specialists, The John Theurer Cancer Center and unnamed doctors and nurses overseeing Nelson’s care.

Braker is demanding a jury trial and unspecified compensation.

“I’m seeking justice for the untimely death of Derrick,” Braker told CNN.

Nelson underwent the procedure to donate bone marrow on February 18 to help an anonymous 14-year-old boy suffering from cancer in France.

For months, Nelson had been in touch with Be the Match — a foundation that manages a global marrow registry to help those who suffer from blood cancers, said Braker. They informed him that he was a match for the boy.

Nelson, who was the principal of Westfield High School, told the school newspaper before the surgery, “If it’s just a little bit of pain for a little bit of time that can give someone years of joy, it’s all worth it.”

The medical team kept Nelson under anesthesia despite his low oxygen level, according to Braker’s complaint.

The complaint alleges the medical team then failed to supply him with additional oxygen, at which point Nelson’s heart rate slowed down. This was a late sign of hypoxemia, meaning he had low levels of oxygen in his blood, the complaint says.

Finally realizing Nelson’s heart rate had slowed, the medical team attempted to provide ventilation through a mask airway — but once again failed to provide sufficient care … Read more. 

Living Donor Toolkit

Learn what transplant recipients and living donors can expect: tests, screening, the procedure, risks, recovery, financial information and more.Mayo Clinic transplant doctors, surgeons and other transplant staff members have extensive experience with living donation. Living-donor transplantation often offers you an attractive alternative to waiting for a deceased-donor organ. You may have a shorter waiting period and fewer complications with a living-donor transplant.

Mayo Clinic surgeons perform living-donor transplant surgery for liver transplant and kidney transplant.

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest living-donor kidney transplant programs in the United States. Researchers actively study outcomes after transplants to improve results. In general, living-donor kidneys will function longer than deceased-donor kidneys.

Surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery to remove a living donor’s kidney (laparoscopic nephrectomy) for a kidney transplant, which may involve less pain and a shorter recovery for the donor. For a living-donor liver transplant, approximately half of the donor’s liver is removed through an incision similar to, but smaller than, the incision used for the recipient.

Donor eligibility and information

The transplant team will evaluate you to determine if you can donate a kidney or part of your liver. Donors usually are younger than 60 years old. You’ll have blood tests to determine if your blood and tissue types are compatible with the organ recipient. Transplant staff will interview you, and you’ll need to provide your medical history. You’ll also have a thorough physical examination. Several other tests, including detailed imaging of your liver or kidneys, will be performed to ensure that you’re in good health and you meet donation criteria. Start the process by completing a Health History Questionnaire.

Transplant staff will discuss with you and your family the benefits and risks of donating an organ and answer your questions. After you donate an organ, living-donor coordinators and other transplant staff members will offer you support and follow-up care for several months after your surgery.

In addition to donating living organs, you also may donate bone marrow for a bone marrow transplant. Source. 

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