Lawsuit About Clearing Patient for Hip Surgery Ends in Defense Verdict

On May 27, 2005, Dennis Swallow  came to the office of the defendant internist, Dr. Bryan Moline, for preoperative clearance for an upcoming orthopedic hip surgery. Swallow was 51 years old at the time and had a history of a neurological event in 1996. He was taking 325 mg of aspirin daily as a stroke preventative measure since that time. Swallow also had a history of severe migraine headaches for which he was receiving treatment from the Diamond Headache Clinic. 

Dr. Moline told Swallow to stop taking aspirin before the planned surgery and cleared him for the surgery, which was done by Dr. Mitchell Sheinkop at Rush Oak Park Hospital on June 15, 2005.

After the hip surgery, Swallow suffered a severe embolic stroke the following day, June 16, 2005, which caused severe disability with inability to talk or care for himself.  He died on Sept. 11, 2009.

Swallow’s family brought a lawsuit seeking damages for his medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of normal life and loss of services.

The family argued that Swallow was a high-risk patient for stroke.Furthermore, the family said Dr. Moline chose not to take a proper history, he should not have cleared Swallow for the surgery, he should have consulted a neurologist and he should have bridged the patient with antithrombotic medications before and after the hip surgery.

The defendants maintained that it was appropriate for Dr. Moline to clear the patient for surgery, there was no need for a consultation with a neurologist and prescribing antithrombotic medications before and after surgery was not necessary. Last, the defendants argued that the patient’s stroke was unpredictable and unavoidable.

The jury found in favor of Dr. Moline and his practice, Rush Oak Park Physicians Group and against the family of Dennis Swallow.

Estate of Dennis Swallow, deceased v. Dr. Bryan G. Moline, Rush Oak Park Physicians Group, Division of Rush Oak Park Hospital, Inc., No. 07 L 5672 (Cook County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases, brain injury cases and birth injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Matteson, Hillside, Elmwood Park, Rosemont, Romeoville, Orland Park, Deerfield, Evanston, Franklin Park and Chicago (Albany Park), Ill.

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