Articles Posted in Hospital Errors

Ms. Doe, 36, went to a hospital emergency department complaining of severe flank or side pain. She underwent testing and was diagnosed as having a kidney stone in her ureter.

Ms. Doe’s test results were allegedly equivocal and showed bacteria in her urine as well as an elevated white blood cell count, which is a sign of infection. However, Ms. Doe was discharged from the emergency room and sent home.

Ms. Doe’s condition worsened. She suffered septic shock, the last stage of infection. Ms. Doe returned to the hospital where she underwent surgery to remove the blockage in her ureter. Despite this treatment, Ms. Doe developed ischemia in her extremities and required surgery to remove necrotic dead or dying tissue.
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Darion Brewer was just seven months old and was sick for nine days. He was placed on Zithromax (Z-pak), an anti-biotic after being taken to a hospital emergency room and urgent care facility. He was seen by a pediatrician, Dr. Cheryl Emoto, who noted that Darion was experiencing respiratory distress and weight loss.

The doctor diagnosed bronchiolitis and prescribed Albuterol, advising Darion’s family to return in a week if his condition did not improve. Sadly, four days later, Darion died. An autopsy reportedly revealed that he had suffered from acute pneumonia. He was survived by his mother.

The Brewer family sued Dr. Emoto and her medical group, alleging that the doctor had misdiagnosed Darion’s condition and chose not to obtain his prior medical records including a hospital x-ray showing pneumonia.
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Anna Mae Burnett had a history of falls. She was admitted to Powerback Rehabilitation after she had spinal surgery. During that admission, she had multiple falls. After the last fall, she was transferred to Pennsylvania Hospital. Over 32 hours later, she was diagnosed with having a T2 burst fracture and spinal cord compression.

Burnett’s condition led to paraplegia and neurogenic bladder and bowel. Almost three years later, she died of sepsis that developed from a urinary tract infection. She was 73 years old at the time of her death.

Burnett’s estate sued the hospital and the rehabilitation facility and its affiliates.
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Julius D’Amico, 73, was admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital for surgery to treat what was believed to be an infection in her arm AV graft used for hemodialysis. During the surgery, she lost blood and fluid volume, which led to a postoperative decrease in her blood pressure, blood volume and hemoglobin.

In addition, that night she suffered prolonged periods of hypotension and decreased tissue profusion. After undergoing hemodialysis the next day, she became unstable, lost consciousness and suffered a fatal heart attack.

D’Amico was survived by her husband and two adult daughters.
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Carolyn Parris, a 76-year-old woman suffering from dementia, was taken by ambulance to the Mary Black Health Systems Gaffney Emergency Room. She was admitted for pneumonia and identified as a moderate fall risk.

Early one morning, her bed alarm sounded, prompting the staff to come to her room where they found her in the doorway of her bathroom on the floor. An x-ray revealed that she had suffered a fractured ankle.

As a result of that injury, Parris required open reduction and internal fixation surgery and was transferred to a nursing home.
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Doe, age 35, was hospitalized for treatment of pneumonia. Doe’s pneumonia cleared, but follow-up X-rays taken one month later and seven months after that showed a suspicious lesion on her lung. The radiologist interpreting the X-rays chose not to note or record the lesion.

Almost three years later, Ms. Doe underwent a CT scan, which formed the basis of a diagnosis of Stage IV inoperable non-small cell lung cancer.

The lawsuit alleged that the delayed diagnosis of lung cancer reduced Ms. Doe’s chances of survival from 85% to 10% in that the lesion measured 1 cm when first seen but had grown to 3.5 cm by the time she received the diagnosis.
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Eric Smith, 47, had been diagnosed with hypertension and suffered an intracranial hemorrhage at home.
He was assessed at a hospital and then transferred to another hospital for neurosurgical intervention in the event his hemorrhage worsened.

Smith remained stable at the second hospital and, several days later, was moved yet again into a third hospital where he was administered high doses of antihypertensive drugs and diuretics.
Smith’s condition initially improved at the third hospital but then began to deteriorate. This included the development of a dangerously low blood pressure.

Smith then suffered a series of ischemic strokes, which led to quadriparesis and dysphagia. He is now dependent on others for 24-hour-a-day care. Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others cannot swallow at all. Other signs of dysphagia include coughing or choking when eating or drinking.
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When Juanita Norton, 88, fell in her yard, she was taken to the local emergency room. At the hospital, she was diagnosed as having multiple pelvic fractures.

She was admitted to the hospital for pain control and rehabilitation when placed on DVT (deep vein thrombosis) prophylaxis.

During the hospitalization, Norton experienced pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation. Later, she had difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, Norton died three days after her hospital admission.
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Ms. Doe, 65, suffered from obesity and high blood pressure and underwent a hysterectomy. She was placed on Lovenox for four days until she was discharged.

Several weeks after leaving the hospital, Ms. Doe collapsed and was rushed to a nearby hospital. She was diagnosed as having bilateral pulmonary emboli, clotting her femoral artery, as well as a patent foramen ovale, a hole in her heart. Although surgery was attempted to correct these problems, the procedure was discontinued because of Ms. Doe’s deteriorating condition.

Ms. Doe later suffered ischemia in her right leg, which necessitated an above-the-knee amputation. She alleged that her treating gynecologist negligently chose not to continue her on the Lovenox following her hospital discharge. Had the defendant done so, Ms. Doe claimed, she would not have developed blood clots and the pulmonary emboli.
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This appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court involves a medical malpractice lawsuit brought against the hospital system, Allina Health System. The suit is based on the alleged negligence of independent contractors involved in providing care for a patient in the emergency rooms of two different hospitals owned by the hospital system. At issue is whether a hospital can be held vicariously liable for the negligence of an independent contractor based on the doctrine of apparent authority.

The state court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the medical malpractice case on the ground that a hospital can be vicariously liable for a physician’s negligence only if the physician is an employee of the hospital. The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case for further disposition.

The plaintiff, Alla Popovich, brought this medical malpractice case as wife and guardian ad litem for her husband, Aleksandr Popovich, alleging that her husband suffered a stroke after receiving negligent medical care in the emergency room of two separate hospitals owned and operated by Allina Health System.
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