Failure to Monitor Sodium Levels Leads to Permanent Brain Injury and Settlement


An Illinois woman recently received a $14.9 million dollar settlement against her endocrinologist, nephrologist and hospital at which she was being treated when she began experiencing complications associated with her diabetes insipidus.  Upon arriving at the hospital, the woman's lab studies revealed that her sodium levels were critically elevated, a level that apparently went unnoticed and/or untreated.  Over the course of several days, however, her physicians failed to monitor these levels or make changes to her care plan despite symptoms that included dizziness, sweating, vomiting and diarrhea.  The woman's sodium levels continued to climb to dangerously high levels and she lapsed into a coma and was subsequently diagnosed with permanent brain damage due to metabolic acidosis and central pontine myelinolysis.  She now requires round-the-clock nursing care that will inevitably cost her family hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of her lifetime.  The woman's lawsuit simply alleged that the health care providers failed to properly monitor her sodium levels, something that could easily have been prevented had the hospital had in place certain protocols that would mandated such vigilance and/or the nurses and other health care providers maintained their vigilance over the woman's deteriorating condition. 

At STSW, our lawyers routinely handle cases in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas involving a failure to properly monitor hospitalized patients, including instances in which extremely high or critical lab values are not properly identified and/or treated.  Past cases have 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 the result of a health care providers negligence or medical mistake / medical malpractice in failing to properly monitor your condition as an inpatient or outpatient, call our lawyers for a free consultation at 410-385-2225 or visit our website to set up a free consultation.