(filed January 7, 2016) Jurisdiction
- Montgomery County
- Holy Cross Hospital
A thirty-five-year-old man experiences fever, chills, and body aches. He presents to the emergency room at Holy Cross Hospital with elevated body temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate, and white blood count. The man's medical history includes a splenectomy and a hip replacement.
Based on the man's symptoms, coupled with his surgical history, the doctor should have recognized that the man had signs of early sepsis requiring further evaluation. Instead, the doctor concludes that the man is suffering from a viral syndrome and discharges him after a simple fluid resuscitation.
In these types of cases, the victim's malpractice attorneys are rarely arguing that the physician should have known with certainty that the patient was septic during the evaluation, and that is probably the case here. More typically, the plaintiff's lawyer is contending that while the symptoms could be attributed to any number of different causes, the collective presentation of symptoms would lead a prudent doctor to raise the suspicion of sepsis and conduct a more meaningful inquiry.
The man follows up with his primary care physician the next day, who sees the signs of advanced sepsis and immediately transfers the man to a local hospital by ambulance. The man requires immediate emergency treatment. It is too late. The man dies of septic shock the following day, two days after his admittance to Holy Cross Hospital.
The man's family files a wrongful death medical negligence lawsuit and survival action of the man's estate lawsuit in Montgomery County. They allege that the Defendants violated the standard of care by failing to properly diagnose the man and subsequently failing to provide him with the appropriate treatment. If the emergency room had timely and appropriately evaluated, diagnosed, and treated the man, the sepsis would not have progressed to the point at which his respiratory status deteriorated and led to his death. It is alleged that Defendants' negligence caused the plaintiff's physical pain, emotional anguish, fear, anxiety, and culminated in his tragic and unnecessary death.
The man's mother and father each filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the same Defendants.
The settlement conference in this case will be on December 9, 2016. If the case does not resolve, a trial date will be set in 2017.Negligence
- Failed to employ appropriate treatment, surgery, tests and procedures
- Failed to carefully and thoroughly evaluate Patient's condition
- Failed to properly and appropriately diagnose Patient's condition
- Failed to thoroughly evaluate the effects and results of any tests and procedures performed
- Survival action
- Wrongful death - mother and father
- Richard Berg: expert in internal medicines and infectious diseases
- Joel Bartfield: board-certified expert in internal medicine
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