$4 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Diagnose Worsening Kidney Function

Lacey Povrzenich, who had been 4 years old at the time, underwent bloodwork at Monongahela Valley Hospital, which reported that her creatinine was normal. For the next seven years, Lacey experienced recurrent urinary tract infections. For that condition, Lacey’s pediatrician, Dr. Dawn McCracken, prescribed antibiotics. The doctor also ordered repeat lab work.

Lacey was later admitted to a hospital suffering from dehydration and vomiting. Testing there showed an abnormally high creatinine level. A CT scan of Lacey’s pelvis and abdomen revealed abnormalities in her ureters and kidneys. However, this condition was not noted by the interpreting radiologist.

One year later, a physician’s assistant at a new health clinic noted that Lacey had high blood pressure. A second blood pressure reading that was taken later that year was even higher. The following year, Lacey was rushed to a children’s hospital where she was diagnosed as having end-stage renal failure. This required a double kidney transplant. Lacey now requires up to 30 pills per day for her condition.

Lacey sued Dr. McCracken alleging that she had chosen not to properly interpret the first creatinine test which was reported as normal using an adult reference range, and should have discontinued her antibiotic treatment. Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine phosphate in muscle, and is usually produced at a fairly constant rate by the body. An elevated creatinine level usually signifies impaired kidney function or kidney disease.

Lacey’s lawsuit also alleged that the physician supervising the physician’s assistant at the new clinic decided not to review Lacey’s treatment plan and that the physician’s assistant chose not to follow up on the high blood pressure readings.

In this case, the jury signed a verdict for $4 million in Lacey’s favor apportioning liability at 85% to Dr. McCracken and 15% to Monongahela Valley Community Health Services, the second or new clinic.

At trial, Lacey’s attorney presented an expert in pediatric nephrology while the defendants presented an expert in the same area of practice.

The attorney successfully representing Lacey in this case was Douglas Price.

Povrzenich v. McCracken, No. 2015-4727 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pl. Washington County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice lawsuits, hospital negligence cases, physician negligence cases, radiology misdiagnosis cases, wrongful death lawsuits and birth trauma injury cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Stickney, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Addison, Itasca, Rosemont, Niles, Mount Prospect, Inverness, Barrington Hills, North Barrington, Hawthorne Woods, Libertyville, Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Lake Bluff, Grayslake, Crystal Lake, Cary, Round Lake Beach, Vernon Hills, Chicago (Bucktown, Ravenswood, Ravenswood Manor, Lincoln Park, Near North Side, River North, Nobel Square, Ukrainian Village, Austin, Belmont Central, Galewood, East Garfield Park, Little Italy, Armour Square, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Washington Park, West Elsdon, Marquette Park, Chicago Lawn, Chatham, Morgan Park, West Pullman, Hegewisch, East Side), Park Ridge, Burbank, Bridgeview, Countryside and LaGrange Highlands, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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