Dialysis Bleeding Malpractice Lawsuit in Baltimore

Branch v. Total Renal Care, Inc.

Nursing Home elderThis is a medical malpractice lawsuit filed after the death of a woman due to bleeding complications from dialysis. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on April 14, 2017 and it is the 179th medical malpractice case filed in 2017 in Maryland.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

A woman has dialysis done Downtown Dialysis Center. During the procedure, there is a malfunction with the machine. She is transferred to another machine. However, shortly after, she begins to lose a lot of blood. A puddle of blood on the floor develops and the woman's clothes become soaked with blood. Defendant health care providers find her to be in hypovolemic shock and cardiac arrest, and attempt resuscitation efforts. They call 911 and the woman is taken to the hospital where additional attempts are made to resuscitate her.

They are able to save her life but she never is able to fully recover. She stays in the hospital for about eight weeks under her death. The cause of her death is a severe anoxic brain injury due to cardiac arrest and severe respiratory failure.

Her family files this lawsuit alleging that the defendants failed to properly connect the dialysis machine and to ensure they were running properly.

Additional Comments
  • Plaintiff has two experts, a doctor and a nurse to connect the dots of negligence and injury. The doctor opines that blood loss caused the death. The nurse says that it must be the port was not secured. Her evidence is that the port was not secured is the bleeding. This could be a subject of a motion to dismiss. The defendants may argue that there is no specific allegation of an act or omission that caused the harm. They may claim that there are a dialysis patient could bleed in the absence of negligence. Hopefully, plaintiff has evidence that caps and the clamps were unsecured after the first machine malfunctioned. Otherwise, defendant is going to content that the decedent unsecured the caps and clamp or there was a product defect (poor threading?) that caused the bleed.
  • The good news is that the plaintiffs' lawyer smartly filed this case long before the statute of limitations has passed.
  • Plaintiff claims in the complaint that the defendant failed to respond to the blood loss. None of their experts offer this opinion and that would be a very difficult argument to make absent compelling facts.
Jurisdiction
  • Baltimore City
Defendants
  • Total Renal Care, Inc.
  • Downtown Dialysis Center
  • Davita, Inc.
  • Davita Accountable Care Solutions
Negligence
  • Failure to properly connect the port after transferring the patient to a new machine
  • Failing to ensure the second machine and port were properly working
  • Failing to properly monitor the patient after being connected to the new machine to ensure the patient was properly receiving dialysis on a functioning machine
  • Failing to timely and properly respond to patient's blood loss
Specific Counts Pled
  • Medical Negligence - Survival Action
  • Medical Negligence - Wrongful Death
Plaintiff's Experts and Areas of Specialty
  • Bruce Charash, M.D. - board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology
  • Robin Thompkins, R.N. - nurse licensed in MD, DE, PA, VA, NJ, and D.C.
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