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Medical Malpractice Trial Continues Involving Missing Heart Monitor

Through the years our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers have worked on a variety of cases where patients suffered because of poor communication between doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and other involved employees. In many cases the series of errors that led to faulty care injuring the victims was caused not by the mistaken efforts of one person but instead include a series of errors that several employees fail to catch, even though they should. This common component of medical malpractice cases is likely a testament to the often systematic problems that can become engrained at some facilities where it is difficult for one employee to question another when they have concerns about a particular course of conduct.

For example, when patients are not properly monitored by an entire medical team, then potentially deadly complications can arise without notice. That appears to be what happened to one woman whose medical malpractice lawsuit went to trial this week, according to the South Texas Record. The suit was filed by a man following the death of his wife several years ago. Both a hospital and a physician are named defendants in the case. The complaint in the suit states that the involved defendants were negligent in caring for the patient primarily by allowing her breathing tube to become inadvertently removed and having inadequate procedures in place to allow the victim to communicate her distress to medical providers.

According to the complaint the woman’s breathing tube accidentally become dislodged, causing her severe distress. However, to compound the problem, the woman’s heart monitor-also known as a ‘finger light’-had been removed. Therefore, her caregivers did not know that her breathing had become labored or that she was in any form of distress. In fact, the woman’s problem was only caught when her ten-year old son came into her room and saw his mother in trouble with an oxygen tube hanging from the side of her bed. The boy’s father came in shortly after and explained that he saw that his wife had stopped breathing with her skin turning purple. As a result of the oxygen deprivation and missing heart monitor the woman suffered severe lack of oxygen to her brain over an extended period of time. The woman eventually fell into a coma because of the problem. She died not long afterwards.

It is unclear what series of events led to the problematic care being provided. However, as this case illustrates, even one misstep by care providers could be the difference between life and death. It is suggested that the dislodging of the oxygen was a completely accidental occurrence not connected to negligence on the part of caregivers. However, because of their actual negligence in not having a heart monitor attached, the breathing problem became deadly. This is a common facet of these cases. It is incumbent upon all medical professionals to follow through with safety measures that are designed to catch a patient in trouble. While the underlying medical condition may be entirely accidental, the failure to follow reasonable safeguards which would prevent that complication from becoming more serious is an act of negligence. The Illinois medical malpractice attorneys at our firm understand these and other issues that commonly occur in these situations. We are proud to help all victims and their families who are hurt when these monitoring mistakes are made.

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