Court rules hospital is liable for patient’s death after surgery

After reviewing a medical malpractice case involving the wrongful death of a surgery patient, an appeals court ruled that the hospital was indeed negligent in the case.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed by the patient’s husband, nurses at the hospital had failed to follow proper procedures for identifying patients with allergies when the woman was admitted to the hospital for surgery. Had nurses followed hospital procedures, they would have discovered that the woman was allergic to latex and certain precautions could have been taken to prevent the patient from being exposed to latex during her hospital stay. This hospital nursing error ultimately caused the patient to die. The woman was only 29 years old.

The lawsuit was filed after it was discovered that nurses had failed to identify the woman’s latex allergy when she was admitted to the hospital to undergo a hysterectomy in July 2000. According to the lawsuit, the woman informed a nurse prior to surgery that she was allergic to chestnuts. This type of allergy indicates that a patient has a high risk of also being allergic to latex, but the nurse had failed to communicate this risk with staff at the hospital. Although the chestnut allergy was noted in the patient’s chart, another nurse failed to look at the chart for possible allergies before prepping the patient for surgery.

Shortly after surgery, the woman began experiencing complications. The woman reported an itching sensation, her lips developed blisters, her face was red, and she complained of nausea. The woman was given medications to treat her symptoms, but her condition did not improve. The woman became unresponsive and was placed on a ventilator after she could no longer breathe on her own. She died four days after her surgery.

As part of the ruling, the victim’s family can rest assured that they will be compensated for their tragic loss. Although no amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a loved one, especially when one’s death could have been avoided, families can at the very least make sure that they will be able to survive financially without their spouse, mother, parent or child.

Source: Outpatient Surgery, “Inside $4.7M Fatal Latex Allergy Case,” Mark McGraw, July 10, 2012

Hospital Negligence


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