Overload of Fluids in Hospital Negligence Case Leads to Wrongful Death

Alice Mays was 54 when she entered the emergency room at Sinai-Grace Hospital. She was complaining of nausea and vomiting over a four-day period. After the emergency department medical providers tested her, it was revealed that she had a bowel obstruction. The emergency department staff then gave her saline and later brought her to surgery. The 5-hour operation performed by the surgeon, Dr. Jill Watras, involved removal of part of her large bowel.

She showed continuously low urine output, which prompted Dr. Watras to order aggressive hydration after the surgery.

For the next two days, Mays received a total of 30,000 mL of fluids. Nonetheless, she had little or no urine output. She eventually suffered respiratory depression, abdominal compartment syndrome and organ failure. She was returned to surgery but suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage. Mays died two months later. She was a graphic artist and is survived by her siblings.

The Mays family filed a lawsuit against Dr. Watras claiming that she was liable for the hospital staff’s over-administration of fluids and for choosing not to order a nephrology consultation post-surgery given her low urine output and abnormal vital signs. The family and the estate of Alice Mays also alleged that the hospital and its affiliated entities were responsible for the residents’ negligence.

The Mays family settled confidentially. The jury entered a verdict of $1.71 million for the wrongful death of Alice Mays. From the report of the case, it seems there was a confidential settlement reached with the treating doctor.

The attorneys representing the Mays family in this lawsuit were Kenneth T. Watkins, Robert B. Sickels and Parker G. Stinar. At the trial, the Mays family introduced experts in general surgery, nephrology and critical care. The defense presented experts who were specialists in critical care and general surgery.

Mays v. VHS of Michigan, No. 14-004174-NH (Mich. Ct. Wayne County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, hospital negligence cases, surgical negligence cases and birth injury cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and surrounding areas including, Calumet City, Blue Island, South Holland, Barrington, Bellwood, Worth, Alsip, Grayslake, Highwood, Hillside, Elmhurst, Elmwood Park, Melrose Park, Chicago (Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town, Greek Town, Little Italy), Libertyville, Brookfield and Vernon Hills, Ill.

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