Williams vs. University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center
This Baltimore County medical malpractice lawsuit involves allegations of a failure to diagnose, treat, and monitor a cardiac patient for sudden death heart arrhythmia.
Summary of Plaintiff’s Allegations
Patient presents to St. Joseph Medical Center with a recent history of near syncopal episodes (fainting/passing out). He does not report any chest pain and his cardiac history is unremarkable.
During his admission, Patient manifests mild EKG changes consistent with a prior inferior wall infarction. He later undergoes cardiac catheterization, which reveals that he has an ejection fraction reduced at 35% to 40%. An ejection fraction is a measurement to determine how well your heart is pumping out blood. Normal rates are 55% to 70%.
The patient is discharged with a diagnosis of stress cardiomyopathy, a condition where stress can cause rapid and severe heart weakness. The Defendant Health Care Providers never diagnose or suspect the possibility of sudden death arrhythmia, notwithstanding the fact that he has an abnormal ejection fraction with numerous and continuous near syncopal episodes, no notable cardiac history, and no history of drug use. Instead, discharge instructions are limited to stress-induced cardiomyopathy, with no information regarding sudden death arrhythmia.
Two months after the patient’s discharge, he suddenly dies. The patient’s mother claims he would not have died had the Defendant Health Care Providers properly diagnosed, monitored, and treated him for sudden death arrhythmia.
Patient’s mother, a resident of Somerset County, files a survival action, a wrongful death claim, and a failure to obtain informed consent claim in Baltimore County. She alleges that the Defendant Health Care Providers violated the standard of care by failing to properly and timely assess, treat, and monitor her son’s condition, including the possibility of sudden death arrhythmia.
- Baltimore County
- St Joseph Medical Center (University of Maryland Medical Systems)
- A Towson internist
- A Towson cardiologist
- Failed to properly and timely assess, treat, and monitor her son’s condition, including the possibility of sudden death arrhythmia.
Specific Counts Pled
- Survival Action
- Wrongful Death
- Informed Consent
Plaintiff’s Experts and Areas of Specialty
- Bruce Charash, M.D. – board certified in internal medicine and cardiology; licensed practicing physician in New York. Dr. Charash was also named as an expert in a lawsuit filed less than a month before this claim.
- Cardiomyopathy simply means that the heart is no longer able to squeeze or contract in an efficient manner to allow it to pump blood appropriately. Cardiologists evaluate this most often either in the cath laboratory or with an echocardiogram by looking at a value called an ejection fraction.
- Ejection fraction simply says what percentage of the blood that was taken into the heart is ejected out of the heart. The normal ejection fraction is 55 to 75 percent. As you drop below that level, you can be said to have a cardiomyopathy.
- The doctor apparently concluded that a low ejection fraction equaled cardiomyopathy and stopped there. Plaintiff’s claim is that because he had no other symptoms that would lead you to believe that there was not something deeper, the doctors should not have ruled out sudden death arrhythmia.
- Plaintiff argues that this man should have been placed on a wearable defibrillator and likely would have graduated to a traditional defibrillator. These devices have been recognized as preventing sudden death by arrhythmia with a 95-99% success rate.
Getting a Lawyer for Your Malpractice Claim
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More Malpractice Claim Information
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- Heart attack misdiagnosis claims
- Another Baltimore case, this one against Franklin Square
- Classic heart attack misdiagnosis case filed in January 2016 in Rockville, Maryland
- Another absolutely classic heart attack misdiagnosis lawsuit also filed in Rockville within a month of the preceding example against Kaiser Permanente and its doctors and nurses
- Heart attack misdiagnosis in the emergency room lawsuit in Baltimore against St. Agnes Hospital
- CALL 800-553-8082 or get a free online case review of your medical malpractice serious injury and wrongful death claims. Miller & Zois handles medical negligence claims throughout the entire state of Maryland and Washington, D.C.