Failure to Treat

$5,750,000 verdict on behalf of a 20 year old woman who was discharged from the hospital after giving birth to her second son, even though she had a very aggressive infection in her uterus and abdomen.

This 20 year old woman had a normal pregnancy and a normal delivery. That night, she started feeling pain. The next morning, while outside for a cigarette, she almost passed out and had to be wheeled back to bed in a wheel chair. The covering doctor for the group prescribed IV fluids for her. Throughout that day and into the next, she continued to have increasing levels of abdominal pain, a high heart rate, and increasingly stronger pain medication, until they were giving her narcotics like morphine.

She was discharged the following morning, even though her nurse wrote in the hospital record that there were no normal bowel sounds after listening for 5 minutes! It was clear that the nursing notes in the computer were never read by the doctors. The doctors notes were all hand written, not entered into the computer.

By the next day, she was in such pain that she was only partly conscious. Her husband brought her back to the doctors’ office, and they wheeled her directly to the hospital emergency room. It was clear by then that her infection had taken over most of her body. She was transferred to a high level teaching hospital and there had emergency surgery to remove the grossly infected uterus, both ovaries, and had a colostomy. The colostomy was reversed a few months later. However, she wasn’t able to take hormone replacement therapy because she developed a blood clot that almost killed her. This 20 year old married woman will spend the rest of her life in menopause.