The parents of a 22-year-old man were awarded $2.68 million by a jury after their son died when a hospitalist at Columbia Medical Center of Arlington, Texas, failed to order a CT scan and surgery to repair a hole in his liver.
The case was reported in the American Association of Justice Professional Negligence Law Reporter.
The patient, M.H., suffered flu symptoms over a two-week period. He was admitted to the Medical Center of Arlington, where he underwent an ultrasound-guided liver biopsy. Several hours later, a treating nurse noted that he was dizzy and sweating profusely.
The hospitalist, Hitesh Yagnik, ordered blood tests, which showed that the patient’s hemoglobin and hematocrit levels had decreased significantly since that morning. The hospitalist then ordered a repeat test.
While the test was pending, M.H.’s symptoms continued, and he became hypotensive to the point of fainting. Apparently the hospital staff told Yagnik about the patient’s condition. Early the next morning, the repeat test revealed a further decrease in M.H.’s hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. Yagnik ordered a blood transfusion.
Before the transfusion could be completed, however, Hernandez became unresponsive. Despite attempts to resuscitate him, he died. An autopsy revealed that he had a hole in his liver and blood in his peritoneal cavity.
He was survived by his parents, who sued the hospital and Yagnik, alleging a failure to treat the internal bleeding. The plaintiffs asserted that their son would not have died had he undergone a timely CT scan and surgery to repair the hole in his liver. The suit did not claim lost income.
The award was reduced to about $1.81 million under statutory caps.
Hernandez v. Columbia Medical Center of Arlington, Texas
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling hospital errors and misdiagnosis cases for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, Skokie, Calumet City, Melrose Park, Evanston, Wilmette, Arlington Heights, Rosemont, Hyde Park (Chicago) and Orland Park.
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