Articles Posted in Cardiac Arrest

Madaline Pitkin, 26, was booked into the Washington County jail after being arrested for unlawful possession of heroin. For the next week, Pitkin, while alone in her jail cell, suffered from opioid withdrawal resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and limited eating and drinking.

The jail staff came to her cell but did not respond to her four requests for medical care. She was not transferred to a hospital as she requested. Pitkin later died of a cardiac event in her jail cell. She is survived by her parent and sibling.

Pitkin’s estate filed a lawsuit against Corizon Health Inc., the county, and several healthcare staff members, claiming they chose not to diagnose and treat dehydration. The Pitkin family argued that she required transfer to a hospital and intravenous saline treatment in light of her symptoms.
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Jodi Hall sued Dr. Roberto P. Cippola for medical malpractice, claiming that he had violated the applicable standard of care by not referring Jason Hall, Jodi’s husband, to a hospital emergency room. Jason had gone to St. Joseph’s PromptCare complaining of chest pain.

The receptionist at the urgent care center asked Jason to describe his symptoms. Her notes said: “Left upper chest pain, was moving a lot of metal today, ‘cramping in neck and arms sometimes.'”

The applicable standard of care called for sending a patient to the emergency room if his chest pain was “suspected to be of cardiac origin.”
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Robert Suryadeth, 64, suffered from valvular heart disease. He was about to undergo outpatient surgery for his back problems. He met with an internist, Dr. Aruna Paspula, who had never before treated or seen Suryadeth.

Dr. Paspula did an electrocardiogram and listened to Suryadeth’s heart. Dr. Paspula cleared Suryadeth for surgery.

After the surgery, Suryadeth was discharged to go home. He died later that day. An autopsy showed that there were three blocked coronary arteries that undoubtedly were related to the cardiac arrest that caused his death. Suryadeth was survived by his wife and three children.
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Sharon Kimble, 50, suffered from chronic back pain. She took opioid pain medication and other drugs to alleviate her back pain. Kimble underwent back surgery at Laser Spine Institute to address her back pain.

Following this surgery, she was under the care of an anesthesiologist, Dr. Glen Rubenstein. Dr. Rubenstein ordered several essential nervous system depressants, including Dilaudid and Flexeril for pain control.

The Laser Spine Institute discharged Kimble two hours after her surgery to a nearby hotel with a prescription for oxycodone and instructions to continue her preoperative medications, including other central nervous system depressants.
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On May 13, 2015, Millicent Mnookin suffered a sudden drop in oxygen followed by cardiac arrest while she was under general anesthesia for surgery at Northwest Community Hospital. She was taken to an intensive care unit but died just two weeks later.

Mnookin’s husband, Barry Mnookin, who was appointed executor of her estate, filed a lawsuit against several defendants, including Northwest Community Hospital and Dr. Syed Ahmed, who had been her anesthesiologist. The lawsuit alleged negligence by Dr. Ahmed as an employee of Northwest Community Hospital.

During the discovery process, her husband’s attorney sent Northwest Community Hospital requests for production of documents. The hospital filed a privilege log, identifying 24 documents that it asserted were privileged and protected from discovery under the Medical Studies Act. He moved for an in-camera inspection of all of the allegedly privileged documents. In response, the trial court asked Northwest Community to “redact the portion of each privileged document for which [Northwest] claimed privileged.” Northwest redacted the entire text of every document, leaving only the printed headline.
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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.
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Esmeralda Tripp, 42, suffered from atrial fibrillation (AFib) and was on Coumadin to manage her condition. While on this medicine, she experienced 17 instances of high INR (International Normalized Ratio). INR is a standardized number that is calculated in a laboratory. If a patient takes blood thinners, the INR is particularly important. INR is actually the timing mechanism for clotting. The prothrombin time, along with its derived measures of prothrombin ratio and international normalized ratio, are all used in evaluating the pathway of coagulation or blood clotting.

After the report of high INR, doctors prescribed Vitamin K, fresh frozen plasma or a discontinuation of the Coumadin.
After again understanding that she had high INR, Tripp went to the University of Arizona Medical Center. A resident physician, Dr. Olga Gokova, and her supervising physician suggested that Tripp take Profilnine, a prothrombotic.

Two hours after receiving an injection of the Profilnine, Tripp suffered a heart attack resulting from a blood clot in her coronary arteries. The blood clot caused her to experience oxygen deprivation, which led to profound brain damage. Today, she remains in a minimally conscious state.
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Robert Dardenne experienced chest pain. With that symptom he went to a nearby hospital emergency department where the cardiologist on his case, Dr. Vibhuti Singh, ordered testing and observation at the hospital. After two days, Dr. Singh discharged Dardenne, telling him that his symptoms were not cardiac in nature.

Several months later, Dardenne, then 66 years old, suffered a fatal myocardial infarction. He was survived by his wife and one adult child.

His family and estate sued the hospital, claiming that Dr. Singh was negligent in choosing not to provide the appropriate follow-up medical care. The lawsuit also claimed that the testing was ambiguous and thus Dr. Singh should have performed a cardiac catheterization to determine whether Dardenne had a blockage in his arteries.
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According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, the judge’s bench trial decision was affirmed. In this case, Phillip Madden brought a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) against the United States from an ultimately fatal medical incident in which he suffered while in the care, custody and control of the Jessie Brown Veterans Administration (V.A.) Medical Hospital. After this bench trial, the district court found in favor of the United States. Madden appealed.

Madden suffered from numerous medical conditions, including but not limited to: morbid obesity, respiratory acidosis, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. He was admitted to the V.A. Hospital several times leading up to his last admission on Dec. 28, 2007.

In this case, the issue was whether the parties’ experts provided sufficient credible evidence. The record contained sufficient evidence in support of the district court’s finding that the United States’ medical expert was credible and that Madden’s medical expert was not credible in this wrongful death claim. He died after he went into cardiac arrest.
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Michael Mills was 28 and had a history of smoking and borderline hypertension. He experienced chest pain for a year. He had seen a cardiologist, Dr. Hassan Kassamali, who ordered an echocardiogram, which was shown to be normal.

Mills had two additional appointments with Dr. Kassamali for his continued symptoms of chest pain, but the physician ordered no further tests.

About three weeks after his last cardiology appointment, Mills suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. The autopsy revealed triple-vessel coronary artery disease. Mills is survived by his parents and a minor son.
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