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Patient dies after hospital staff fails to diagnose complication

Patient dies after hospital staff fails to diagnose complication

Date: February 15, 2013

A Chicago-area man was given incompetent care for complications following his hernia surgery that caused his death, a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against an area hospital says. The suit accuses the hospital of failing to provide a staff that might have postponed the victim’s operation or at least diagnose the complications that caused his death in time to possibly do something about them.

The victim, 61, entered Advocate Christ Medical Center in December 2005 to undergo surgery to repair a hernia. Prior to the surgery, he was taking antibiotics prescribed by his doctors.

The victim stayed in the hospital overnight following the hernia surgery. Late that night, he began to experience abdomen pain that quickly escalated, along with other symptoms such as vomiting. The physician’s assistant on duty failed to call in a physician or report these troubling symptoms, the medical malpractice suit says.

The victim died six days later. It was later determined that he had suffered an inflamed colon, which could have been caused by the pre-operative antibiotics. The hospital staff failed to take note of this potential problem before the surgery or consider this possibility once the symptoms became obvious, according to the plaintiffs. If they had, they might have postponed the operation or reacted to the symptoms with greater urgency.

Besides Advocate Christ, the surgeon and physician’s assistant are named in the litigation. In a statement, the hospital declined to comment except to claim that “providing the safest and highest quality care is our top priority.”

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Lawsuit claims wrongful death when man died after surgery,” Ellen Jean Hirst, Feb. 7, 2013

  • Our law firm provides legal help for families whose loved one died as the result of medical malpractice. Please visit our Arlington Heights medical malpractice page for more information.

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