Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: $1.25M Settlement
2015 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
Death of 76 year-old-man from delay in diagnosis and treatment of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)
In March 2007, after suffering a fall, the decedent presented to the Lahey Clinic for neurosurgical consultation.
The second day of his admission, the decedent’s hemoglobin and hematocrit levels decreased to concerning levels. A MRI was done at 2:00 P.M. and was reviewed by a resident at 10:58 P.M. The MRI was read as normal by the resident, but in fact there was a large hematoma and hemorrhage. Due to the resident’s misread, the bleed when untreated during the overnight hours.
At approximately 6:30 A.M. the next morning, the decedent was found unresponsive. A code was called and he was intubated. Unfortunately, the patient was pronounced dead later that morning.
An autopsy revealed that the decedent’s death was caused by a right retroperitoneal hemorrhage as a result of the AAA rupture.
The plaintiff’s experts were prepared to testify that the accepted standard of care for the average qualified resident radiologist required the defendants to recognize and appreciate the findings of right psoas muscle hematoma and right retroperitoneal hemorrhage on MRI. It was the defense position that the decedent’s AAA was small and unlikely to rupture and it was reasonable for the defendant not to suspect any rupture and therefore his death was unpreventable.
The case settled in October 2015 for $1,250,000.00.
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