Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Deep Venous Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism
Injuries: Wrongful Death, Deep Venous Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism
Facts and Claim of Liability:
On July 21, 2005, at around 5 p.m., plaintiff presented to Defendant Hospital St. Barnabas Hospital, 36 weeks pregnant, with oligohydramnios, a nonreassuring fetal heart rate pattern, and breech presentation. Shortly after she was admitted, it was decided that plaintiff’s baby needed to be delivered immediately via caesarian section. Less than two hours later, at 6:30 p.m., plaintiff’s baby was born.
One of plaintiff’s cousins visited plaintiff the next morning, at around 9:00 a.m. Plaintiff’s cousin recalls plaintiff not looking well, and complaining of shortness of breath and dizziness. Plaintiff’s cousin also recalls that plaintiff told her she had been experiencing these things since the early hours of the morning, and that she had told a nurse about them.
At around 10:00 a.m., plaintiff’s cousin recalls a nurse coming into the room and telling her that she had to leave, as a catheter needed to be removed from plaintiff. Plaintiff’s cousin complied and left the room.
Shortly thereafter, other members of plaintiff’s family arrived to visit plaintiff. However, they were not permitted to see her. A short time later, they were informed that she had died. Defendant nurse spoke to the family and explained that plaintiff had earlier complained of shortness of breath and dizziness, but that these symptoms sometimes followed a caesarian section and thus were not thought of as particularly significant. Defendant nurse also said that when she went into the room a little after 10:00 a.m. to help plaintiff out of the bed, plaintiff became dizzy and fainted. Defendant nurse moved plaintiff back to the bed and attempted resuscitation, but to no avail. After multiple resuscitation attempts by hospital staff, plaintiff was pronounced dead at 10:51 a.m. It was later determined that she had died of a pulmonary embolism.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant staff and defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of plaintiff in overlooking or disregarding significant risk factors for deep venous thrombosis in plaintiff and failing to utilize basic and necessary prophylaxis against deep venous thrombosis. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $1,150,000.00.