Failure to Determine Source of Bleeding Causes Death

Article posted on:11/18/2008

An Indiana jury recently awarded $1 million dollars to the husband of a woman who died after physicians failed to timely determine to the source of her bleeding. The 55 year old woman was hospitalized in the ICU for treatment of breathing difficulties. Upon extubation, a nurse noticed bleeding coming from her mouth. The woman's blood pressure began dropping as a result of the ongoing bleeding, ultimately causing hypovolemic shock. Physicians then attempted to urgently place a catheter in her jugular vein, but unfortunately, in the process, punctured her lung, causing it to collapse. The patient subsequently was then required to be placed back on a ventilator where she developed pneumonia and died. Plaintiff alleged that the source of the bleeding was a partial denture that cut into his wife's throat and that the physicians could have discovered this by merely checking the patient's mouth. The partial denture was also apparent on an x-ray taken before the bleeding began, something the physician failed to appreciate.

At STSW, our lawyers routinely handle cases in and around the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas in which it is alleged medical health care providers were negligent in failing to properly monitor a patient following routine surgical procedures.  In many instances, patients are negligently permitted to bleed internally from a  mistake made during the procedure and, without immediate intervention to correct the bleeding, suffer catastrophic injuries and /or death.  Cases such as these are truly tragic because hospitals and health care providers possess excellent tests and studies that can be used to determine if a patient is still bleeding internally following a surgical procedure.  Past cases that STSW lawyers pursued involved hospitals including but not limited to:  Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland Medical System, St. Agnes Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, Harbor Hospital, Sinai Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital, Anne Arundel County Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Washington Medical Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Frederick Memorial Hospital and Shady Grove Hospital.  Unlike many firms in the area, our lawyers team with in-house nurses who are trained to review the hundreds of pages of medical records, including nursing notes, that painstakingly document subtle changes in a patient's condition, changes which must be found and documented if one is to be successful in this type of litigation.  In addition to our nurses' review of the relevant medical records, our office has a network of health care providers who stand ready to review our clients' records to ascertain whether they have been the victim of medical negligence / medical malpractice.  In Maryland, in order to move forward with a potential medical negligence case, the victimized patient must secure the support of heath care providers /experts in the same field as the potential defendant; i.e., that health care provider must be willing to testify that the defendant violated the applicable standards of care in treating the patient such that an injury occurred. 

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of the failure to properly monitor a patient following surgery, call our team for a free consultation at 410-385-2225 or visit our website to set up your consultation.   In Maryland, the statute of limitations generally precludes cases from being filed if they are more than 3 years from the date of the alleged negligence, however some exceptions may apply.