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Three Million Dollar Medical Malpractice Settlement Against Advocate Bromenn Medical Center

In November 2014 the personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti won a $3 million settlement in a medical malpractice case. This settlement will help make whole the family of a woman who died from respiratory failure resulting in cardiac arrest.

Woman Suffers from Double Vision and Parethesia

Back on January 15, 2010, a now-deceased woman went to an emergency room and complained that she was suffering from double vision, swollen eyes, weakness, and fatigue. The doctors ordered a CT scan which came back negative, so they sent her home and told her to follow up with her primary care doctor.

The double vision continued into the next day when the woman also began to suffer from parethesia, which is a tingling sensation, in both of her arms. She went to her primary care doctor who admitted her to Bromenn Medical Center. A neurologist who had been treating her for migraines became involved and diagnosed her with an opthalmologic migraine and Guillan-Barre. His plan was to prescribe the woman pain medications, insure her hydration, and monitor her further.

After Two Days, Woman’s Health Worsens

Then, on January 17, 2010, the woman became hypoxic, which means that her body was not receiving adequate oxygen. She stopped breathing. Hospital staff intubated her and became concerned that either COPD or Guillain-Barre with ascending paralysis were causing the respiratory issues. Both an EMG and a spinal tap were inconclusive.

On January 26 the medical staff removed an endotracheal tube and placed a percutaneous tracheostomy tube for continued ventilation. At this point the woman was conscious had had normal vital signs. The next day, however, a nurse turned the woman to bathe her and in the process dislodged her tracheostomy tube. This led to a lack of oxygen which ultimately resulted in respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. While the hospital called a code blue, the prolonged code caused her to develop severe acidosis and suffer brain damages. She continued to require vasopressor support to maintain her blood pressure and after several hours she went into cardiac arrest again. At that point the medical staff’s resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead.

Lawsuit Allegations

The deceased woman is survived by two adult children who are currently aged 24 and 19. In their lawsuit they alleged that the nurse improperly turned their mother for her bath without the assistance of another nurse and a respiratory therapist, and in doing so the nurse failed to properly secure and protect their mother’s airway. The nurse also failed to reestablish the airway in a timely fashion. This negligence was alleged to have resulted in the injuries that caused the woman’s death. The woman’s family provided evidence that 70% of patients diagnosed with Gullain-Barre, as their mother was, have a full or nearly fully recovery. The suit resulted in a $3,000,000 settlement in favor of the deceased woman’s family.

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