Ruscher gave the boy a “relatively high dose” of the anesthetic propofol after he initially had “elevated” blood pressure, according to the medical board order. The baby later developed “critically low” blood pressure and suffered brain damage from oxygen deprivation, the order says.
Ruscher left the operating room during the surgery but was nearby and available by phone, the order says. Chalifoux had been trained to call her if problems arose but he didn’t, despite low or unobtainable blood pressure readings, the order says.
Chalifoux was three months from completing his residency but had not participated in a surgery involving a tethered cord or a small infant, the order says.
Attorneys for Ruscher declined comment Tuesday. Chalifoux, an anesthesiologist at Baystate Health in Springfield, Massachusetts, and his attorneys didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Ruscher is no longer with UW Health after a voluntary retirement, spokesperson Emily Kumlien said. John Zwieg, one of Ruscher’s attorneys, said she is working but declined to say where.
“While this matter has been legally resolved, UW Health is aware of the painful reality of this situation, and we continue to offer our deepest compassion to the Mallidi family,” Kumlien said.
The medical board has not taken action against Chalifoux, who according to court records argued that Ruscher was responsible for the injury.
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