Nicole Incrocci was just 15 when she was bitten by a poisonous snake on her lower left leg. Her leg continued to swell over the next month. When she developed right flank pain, coughing and vomiting, she went to a hospital emergency room where a doctor diagnosed pneumonia, prescribed an antibiotic and discharged her to home.
Nicole’s condition worsened despite the administration of multiple antibiotics. She was later hospitalized. A family physician, Dr. Monique Casey-Bolden, who was aware of the pneumonia diagnosis, Nicole’s chest pain and her history of coughing up blood, diagnosed worsening pneumonia and prescribed different antibiotics.
Nicole’s condition continued to worsen. She developed rapid heart and respiratory rates for which Dr. Casey-Bolden ordered oxygen, albuterol treatments, Tylenol, and an EKG and chest-x-ray.