Articles Posted in Hospital Errors

Jerri Woodring-Thueson suffered a stroke. Several days later, tests showed a suspected vertebrobasilar arterial dissection. She was transferred to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, the nearest comprehensive stroke center.

A vertebral artery dissection is a flap-like tear of the inner linings of the vertebral artery, which is located in the neck and supplies blood to the brain. After such a tear, blood enters the arterial wall and forms a blood clot to thicken the artery wall; often it blocks blood flow.

Shortly after her admission to the Seattle facility, she experienced nausea, vertigo, decreased hearing, blurred vision and uncontrolled eye movements. A repeat MRI was negative for new strokes. Woodring-Thueson’s treating physicians continued her on dual antiplatelet therapy, which included aspirin.
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On April 21, 2011, Gail Osten had a screening mammogram. The “technologist” at the screening noticed a slightly inverted left nipple and a brown discharge, which Osten had not noticed before.

The mammogram revealed bilateral benign calcification and no other masses or malignancy. No further tests were ordered. In December 2011, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died on March 19, 2015.

On Jan. 20, 2017, Joseph Osten, as special administrator for Gail Osten’s estate, filed suit against Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, Nye Partners in Women’s Health and three of the medical providers who treated Osten in April 2011.
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Billy Pierce, 61, was admitted to East Texas Medical Center complaining of stomach pain and vomiting. Gastroenterologist Dr. Gary Boyd diagnosed bile duct stones, acute pancreatitis and cholangitis. Pierce developed sepsis and multi-organ failure. Another gastroenterologist evaluated Pierce and removed his bile duct stones. Pierce recovered after this surgical procedure but subsequently developed worsened cholangitis, which necessitated a liver transplant.

Pierce had been a senior vice president of a chemical company and was earning $900,000 per year, but he is now unable to work.

Pierce sued the hospital, Dr. Boyd and two other treating gastroenterologists. He alleged that the hospital negligently allowed Dr. Boyd to practice when the state medical board had suspended his medical privileges and that Dr. Boyd chose not to remove the bile duct stones, which led to sepsis and the multi-organ failure.
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Joan Simmons, 58, was experiencing acute back pain. She went to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital. She was treated and released. Her back pain continued.

Eight days after the back pain started, she returned to the hospital complaining of an altered mental status. Testing revealed a blood stream infection.

An infectious disease specialist, Dr. Sarah Barbour, examined Simmons, who then began to experience progressive leg weakness.

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Shane Ackerschott was injured at work. He went to RediCare Urgent Care Clinic, which was run by Mountain View Hospital. Ackerschott, 40 years old at the time, experienced numbness below the waist and severe pain when he arrived at this clinic.

He was at the clinic for several hours and consulted with a nurse and family physician who had him raise his legs, touch his toes, and move up and down, among other things. However, his symptoms worsened.

After he walked to the facility’s X-ray room, he collapsed. He was transported to Mountain View Hospital where he was diagnosed with having a spinal cord injury at T10-11, resulting in paraplegia.
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Susan Clifford was a 40-year-old Iraq war veteran who was admitted to Veterans Hospital suffering from shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms. Over the next week, she received respiratory therapy, nebulizer treatments and mask ventilation.

When the treating medical providers attempted to switch her from the ventilator mask to a nasal cannula, she suffered an acute bronchial spasm. She was intubated approximately 44 minutes later but suffered oxygen deprivation, which resulted in permanent brain damage, blindness and quadriparesis.

Clifford sued the United States (Veteran’s Administration) alleging that its medical providers chose not to properly respond to acute respiratory distress and timely restore her airway. The lawsuit did not claim lost income or medical expenses.
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During a physical therapy session following her hip surgery, Anita Hanson began to experience increased pain in her leg. The pain did not subside and hospital staff later diagnosed her with a fractured femur.

Hanson and her husband brought a lawsuit against the physical therapy company and the hospital. It was alleged in the lawsuit that the physical therapist was negligent during the physical therapy session, that the hospital was negligent in choosing not to timely diagnose the fractured femur, and that Hanson was injured as a result of the negligence of both the hospital and the physical therapist. The defendants separately moved for summary judgment. The plaintiffs, Anita Hanson and her husband Marvin Hanson, filed an appeal.

On Sept. 8, 2014, Anita Hanson underwent a right total hip arthroplasty. The surgeon, Dr. Michael Vener performed the surgery. After the surgery, Dr. Vener took x-rays, which confirmed a properly placed artificial joint. The x-ray did not reveal any fractured bones.
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James DeGeorge, 84, was hospitalized for the placement of a pacemaker. He was labeled a high fall risk due to his unsteady gait and forgetfulness. A nurse gave him Ambien one evening as he reported he could not sleep. He was placed in a chair without an alarm.

An hour later, he was trying to get out of the chair but fell and hit his head. He suffered a subdural hematoma as a result of that blunt force. He died three weeks later and was survived by his wife and three adult children.

DeGeorge’s family and estate filed a lawsuit against the hospital for his wrongful death. The DeGeorge family asserted that the hospital chose not to take the necessary fall precautions and properly monitor his movements.
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William Mann had a history of smoking. He underwent a routine physical including a chest x-ray, which was interpreted as normal. However, three years later, he was diagnosed as having metastatic lung cancer.

In spite of chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments, including a procedure to reinforce the bones in his back, he died 20 months after the diagnosis. He was 58 years old and was survived by his wife and four adult children at the time of his death.

The Mann family sued the United States alleging that the Veterans Administration (VA) radiologist chose not to identify a suspicious 1.5-centimeter density on the left lung visible on the chest x-ray done three years before Mann’s fatal diagnosis.
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Andrew Swanson had a history of various medical problems including diabetes, end-stage renal disease and gangrene. After undergoing a skin graft on his right foot, he was transferred to Regional Hospital for Respiratory and Complex Care.
He was in his mid-40’s and was treated with foot dressing to be changed daily and wrapped with non-elastic Kerlix dressing.

In spite of this procedure ordered by his treating physicians, a Regional Hospital nurse applied an elastic Ace bandage and left it in place for three days.
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