Settlement for Pulmonary Embolus Death Is $1.4 Million

2011 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

Wrongful death lawsuit involves failure to properly diagnose and treat pulmonary embolus

On 8/17/05, the decedent was admitted to the hospital with a two week history of shortness of breath. A chest CT showed large, bilateral pulmonary emboli (clots). The decedent was admitted and examined the next day by a pulmonologist. It was ordered that the decedent remain in the hospital and on both Heparin and Coumadin until his INR level was in a therapeutic range for 3 full days. The plan was he would then be discharged home on Coumadin alone.

See related pulmonary embolus lawsuit:
Failure to properly diagnose and treat pulmonary embolus

The decedent was under the care of the defendant internist during his stay at the hospital. The decedent had his INR checked daily and it remained sub-therapeutic until 8/22/05 when it was noted to be therapeutic for the first time. Despite the plan set forth by the attending pulmonologist to wait 3 days, the defendant decided the decedent would be discharged later that day.

On 8/23/05, the day after discharge, the decedent was brought by ambulance back to the hospital due to extreme shortness of breath at home. On his way to the hospital he went into cardiac arrest and despite efforts to revive him, he died from acute, massive pulmonary emboli.

The plaintiff was prepared to offer expert medical testimony that the defendant was negligent when she discharged the decedent in direct violation of the order written by the attending pulmonologist. Further, it was the plaintiff’s position that had the decedent been in the hospital, he would have continued to receive significant blood thinners would not have developed further clots.

The defendant was prepared to offer testimony that the decedent was safe to go home when discharged as he had been on 2 blood thinners for 4 days. Further, the defendant was expected to present evidence that the decedent would have died even if in the hospital due to the size of the blood clots.

The case settled for $1,400,000 2 months before trial. (Middlesex Superior Court)

Lubin & Meyer represented the plaintiff in this pulmonary embolus lawsuit.

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