When the 72-year-old wife, mother of six, and grandmother went in for surgery on February 23, 2010 for a subtotal colectomy with an ileorectal anastomosis to treat her five-year history of diverticulosis, neither she nor her family could have imagined that she would die sixteen days later from surgical complications that were not timely diagnosed and treated, despite many physical signs of problems after her surgery and before she was discharged from the hospital to home.
The Maryland woman’s warning signs of complications after her surgery included new onset of abdominal pain, spikes in fever, a respiratory rate of 20 on multiple readings, a consistently elevated pulse rate, hypotension, severe bandemia (an excess of immature white blood cells (band cells) released into the bloodstream by the bone marrow), and cognitive impairment during her lasts days in the hospital before her discharge on March 1, 2010.
Two days later (on March 3), the woman was transported by ambulance from her home to a local hospital, where she was diagnosed with septic shock, kidney failure, and liver failure. Emergency exploratory surgery found copious amounts of pus throughout her abdominal cavity. Due to her grave prognosis and despite the efforts of the hospital’s medical staff to treat her life-threatening conditions, the woman died on March 11, 2010.
A Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit was brought on behalf of the woman’s estate, her husband of 54 years, and her six adult children, alleging that the hospital where the original surgery took place and the physicians treating her in that hospital were negligent in their treatment of the woman by failing to timely and properly diagnose her post-surgical complications and medical conditions, by failing to timely and properly treat such complications and medical conditions, and by negligently discharging her from the hospital when it was inappropriate to do so.
The Maryland medical malpractice jury trial was held in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where the jury awarded the amount of the economic damages resulting from the alleged negligent medical care as well as $40,000 to each of the woman’s survivors for their noneconomic losses, after a three-week trial.
After the Maryland medical malpractice jury’s verdict was announced, the plaintiffs’ lawyer stated, “When a patient comes out of surgery and has multiple warning signs that something isn’t right, the health care providers treating her must figure out what is going on before sending that patient home. This jury paid very close attention to the evidence in this case and, ultimately, decided that [the woman] should not have been sent home before the doctors knew what was causing her problems.”
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or worse) in Maryland due to medical negligence, you should promptly find a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your Maryland medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a Maryland medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.