Articles Posted in Pulmonary Embolism

William Andrews, 46, suffered from orthopedic injuries, including a hip fracture that he suffered in an ATV crash. He went to a hospital emergency room where he was placed in a knee immobilizer and was instructed to stay non-weight bearing. At a later doctor’s appointment with an orthopedist, he was diagnosed as having a fractured wrist and was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Gelfand.

Several days later, Dr. Gelfand met with Andrews and his wife who informed the doctor of Andrews’s hip fracture and immobility. Dr. Gelfand recommended that Andrews undergo surgical repair of the wrist fracture. This was scheduled for approximately ten days later.

Andrews remained immobile before the surgery and did not leave his house. The morning of the wrist surgery, Andrews’s wife found him on the floor of their bedroom, where he had died. The later autopsy showed that Andrews had died from a saddle pulmonary embolism.
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Hope Johnson, 20, was a student who was considering hormonal birth control. In doing so, she underwent a blood test to determine whether she was at risk for blood clots. Although the test for Factor V Leiden was positive for a clotting mutation, Johnson’s treating ob/gyn told her that her Factor V Leiden results were normal.

About one month later, after starting birth control pills, she went to Auburn Urgent Care complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, headache and sore throat. She told the staff there that she was taking birth control pills. Dr. Zenon Bednarski, the owner and supervising physician of the clinic, diagnosed Ms. Johnson with pneumonia and bronchitis after an X-ray was taken. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic and sent Johnson home to return only if her condition worsened.

Ms. Johnson returned to the clinic two days later when her chest pain and shortness of breath became much worse. She reported these symptoms to newly hired Dr. David Willis who ordered a CBC (complete blood count), which showed an oxygen saturation level of 91. Dr. Willis performed no physical exam. He was unable to access Johnson’s medical chart from the previous clinic visit, diagnosed a high white blood count and shortness of breath and prescribed an inhaler. The very next day, Hope Johnson died of massive pulmonary emboli. She was survived by her parents and two siblings.
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Isatu Sheriff, 39, underwent the removal of a bunion by a podiatrist and was placed on blood thinners following the surgery. One week after finishing the blood thinning medicine, she went to an urgent care facility complaining of leg pain. An emergency room physician performed a workup for muscle pain and back pain and prescribed opioids.

Sheriff collapsed and died eight days after that urgent care facility visit. The cause was determined to be a pulmonary embolism that traveled from her leg to lodge in her lung. She had been a certified nursing aid earning approximately $38,000 annually and was survived by her husband and two minor children.

Sheriff’s husband sued the doctor alleging that she chose not to test for and diagnose deep vein thrombosis. The Sheriff lawsuit alleged that the doctor should have ordered a Doppler ultrasound and a D-Dimer test, which would have revealed a treatable blood clot.
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Ms. Doe, age 43, was hospitalized and treated for sepsis after she underwent laparoscopic surgery. Shortly after her release from the hospital, Ms. Doe experienced severe shortness of breath, tachycardia and lower back pain.

Ms. Doe met twice with Dr. Roe, an infectious disease specialist, who ordered a chest X-ray, which he deemed to be reassuring.

The same week, Ms. Doe suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism. She had been an office manager earning approximately $62,000 per year and is survived by her husband and a minor son.
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After Ernestine Wilson’s 23-year-old son Brian Curry died from a saddle pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that blocked the large pulmonary artery straddling his lungs), she sued emergency room physician Dr. Eric Moon and Chicago’s St. Bernard Hospital. She claimed that the doctor was negligent in choosing not to diagnose and treat her son’s condition and that the hospital was also liable because of its principal-agent relationship with the doctor. Dr. Moon denied negligence and the hospital moved for summary judgment on the ground that the doctor was an independent contractor.

Wilson reached a settlement with the hospital, but at the trial six weeks later, the doctor called the hospital’s retained expert in pulmonary medicine. The witness testified that Brian’s signs and symptoms did not suggest pulmonary embolism and that what subsequently occurred was a sudden and unsurvivable medical condition regardless of the doctor’s efforts.

Dr. Moon generally adopted the hospital’s expert opinions and thus was not required to submit a second 213(f)(3) disclosure containing all of the same information of an earlier disclosure once the hospital settled with Wilson for the plaintiff.
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Betty Spotts fell and fractured her pelvis at her home on Feb. 10, 2011. The fracture required surgery at Ingalls Memorial Hospital. She was transferred to the defendant Providence Health Care in South Holland, Ill., on Feb. 14, 2011. Providence Health Care was supposed to provide a course of rehabilitation, including physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Just days after her admission to Providence Health Care, she began exhibiting symptoms of low oxygen levels (hypoxia) including shortness of breath, allegedly indicative of pulmonary emboli. Spotts was 81 years old.

Her symptoms got worse on Feb. 21, 2011, at which time a pulmonary embolism was diagnosed. She was readmitted to Ingalls Memorial Hospital where treatment was ultimately unsuccessful. She died on Feb. 22, 2011 survived by two adult children.
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