On March 22, 2013, a Los Angeles Superior Court medical malpractice jury returned a verdict after less than two days of deliberations in the amount of $7.4 million in favor of a 26-year-old woman who suffered severe brain injuries after treatment at Palmdale Regional Medical Center. The medical malpractice plaintiff is currently in a persistent vegetative state at a facility that costs about $1,200 a day. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the woman was a Medi-Cal patient who suffered severe permanent brain injuries after being treated at Palmdale Regional Medical Center.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
On November 8, 2011, the woman, who had asthma, went to the emergency room with complaints of shortness of breath. She was treated in the emergency room and then admitted to the hospital on a telemetry unit for observation and monitoring. While in the telemetry unit, the woman suffered cardiopulmonary arrest, causing oxygen deprivation to her brain and resulting in her severe and permanent brain injury.
The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that her doctor had ordered continuous monitoring of her oxygen level while in the telemetry unit but the nurses on the unit failed to follow the order, thereby failing to properly monitor the woman’s respiratory condition (the woman was removed from supplemental oxygen and left to breathe regular room air for seven hours before her cardiac arrest). The hospital alleged that the woman’s cardiopulmonary arrest was not due to the lack of monitoring of her oxygen level but was due to an unanticipated allergic reaction to medication that she was given earlier that day.
The woman had moved to Palmdale in 2009 to be with her boyfriend. She had just obtained her college degree months before the incident. The woman’s mother moved from her home in Virginia to be with her daughter and to provide around-the-clock care to her after the incident.
The woman’s mother filed the medical malpractice case on her daughter’s behalf in November 2011. The medical malpractice trial began on February 28, 2013 in the Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles.
What Is Telemetry?
According to the American Heart Association, hospital telemetry systems are designed to monitor physiological parameters over a distance and transmit information and alerts to a central monitoring station in near real-time and are used for continuous ward monitoring of cardiac arrhythmias in appropriate patients. The first transmission of an ECG by telephone wire was reported in 1906. The first wireless telemetry systems were introduced in the 1970s and transmitted analog telemetry signals using one dedicated frequency channel for each patient. Networked telemetry systems in the 1980s led to the creation of centralized telemetry viewing stations in intensive and acute care units. Digital telemetry systems began in the 1990s and allowed for computerized signal recording, storage, and retrieval. Increases in computing power and networking capabilities allowed for monitoring of electrocardiographic, hemodynamic, and other clinical data from multiple patients on a single networked system. By 2000, wireless communication in the hospital extended beyond telemetry systems and the FCC established a protected range of frequencies for wireless medical devices to minimize electromagnetic interference from other sources. Source
If you or a family member were injured or suffered other injuries as a result of hospital negligence, a hospital mistake, or a hospital error, it is important to promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney to research your possible hospital malpractice claim for you and file a hospital malpractice case on your behalf , if appropriate.
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