A Judge in the Cook County Law Division has entered an order approving
the settlement of a
wrongful death action arising from the death of the 30 year old mother of 4.
Larry Rogers, Jr., a Partner at Power, Rogers & Smith, L.L.P., was able to obtain a settlement
for his client for $4.35 Million. It consists $3,000,000 from Defendants,
Resurrection Health Care and St. Mary of Nazareth; $1,000,000 Million
on behalf of Defendant, Dr Sadagopan; and $350,000 on behalf of Defendant,
Dr. Hong Chan An.
This matter concerns an occurrence in which Mr. Rogers’ client died
as a result of
medical malpractice associated with a brain
bleed that went undiagnosed and untreated at Resurrection Health Care.
Mr. Rogers’ client, Ms. J, was admitted to the hospital under the
care and treatment of her family practice physician who was scheduled
to deliver her full term fetus. During her labor, it was determined that
she would need to deliver by
C-section, therefore, a doctor specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology was consulted.
Because the delivery was going to be accomplished by C-section, Ms. J
received an epidural. Anesthesiologist, Dr. An testified that in an attempt
to administer epidural anesthesia, he made several attempts to introduce
the 17 gauge needle into the epidural space but was unable to do so.
Ms. J was hospitalized for the next few days under the care of various
doctors and nurses at Saint Mary of Nazareth Hospital. On her day of discharge
she had she suffered headaches. She was eventually discharged without
a work-up of her headaches.
Two days later Ms. J spoke with her doctor regarding her severe headache
and was told to re-present to the hospital if the medications were not
resolving her headaches. At about 5:30 p.m. that same day she re-presented
to Saint Mary of Nazareth Hospital reporting that she had been suffering
a headache for days. The hospital triage note describes the headache as
“Unbearable 9-10″ out of 10. The differential diagnosis reads
“DDX: SubArachnoid Hemorrhage…” as the first likely
condition. Despite this differential diagnosis, the Emergency Room physician
and anesthesiology consultant failed to diagnose or rule out a subarachnoid
hemorrhage or intracranial bleed by ordering a CT scan of the brain. As
the evening progressed, Ms. J’s pain became even worse. Ms. J was
unable to stay in one position, and nursing notes describe her as screaming
loudly due to the severe headache.
Despite Ms. J’s complaints of a headache for hours in the hospital,
no CT scan was performed until after 1 a.m., when she was comatose. Eventually
a CT scan was completed at approximately 3:15 a.m. showing an intracranial
brain bleed. The CT scan demonstrated an intracranial brain bleed which,
at autopsy, was determined to likely be from an aneurysm rupture. Ms.
J died the following day.
Plaintiff’s case alleged that Saint Mary of Nazareth Hospital, by
and through its physicians and nurses, failed to examine, work up, and
treat Ms. J’s complaints of headache. As a result, they failed to
diagnose the sentinel bleed when the headaches originated, allowing it
to become a severe intracranial hemorrhage. Had the complaints of the
headaches been reported to the physicians and worked up early on, Ms.
J would not have been discharged, and she would have been diagnosed and
treated for the sentinel bleed before she suffered a massive aneurysm rupture.