A jury has awarded a family more than $1.1 million dollars in a medical negligence lawsuit. The family of the 84 year old woman was represented by Levin & Perconti. The lawsuit stems from medical malpractice stemming from a fall. The woman was taken to Rush North Shore Hospital after sustaining a broken ankle at her home. Surgery was done and she was subsequently sent to a nursing facility, Lincolnwood Place Nursing Home, for rehabilitative care. After the surgery she was under the care of her primary physician, Dr. John Fultz.
Doctor Failed to Provide Proper Care
Prior to the fall the woman was taking the blood thinner Coumadin as treatment for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition which put her at a higher risk of stroke. Her doctor took her off Coumadin for the time immediately following her surgery after a test indicated that she had enough in her system. Removing her from Coumadin was to allow her surgery to heal properly. However, the woman was supposed to be put back on Coumadin shortly after surgery to ensure that her heart condition was being cared for. Unfortunately, the doctor failed to place her back on Coumadin even after testing showed that it was now required. This negligent action caused the woman to be at an increased risk of embolic stroke.
Stroke Caused Decreased Function and Ultimately Death
Because the woman’s blood was no longer being thinned properly she suffered a stroke. The stroke caused severe injury and severely limited the woman’s ability to communicate, reduced her short-term memory, and required her to be wheelchair bound for the remainder of her life. The woman was unable to return to her normal lifestyle and required care that forced her to live in a nursing home. After her stroke she suffered several setbacks and complications, which led to her death. The woman died four years after her stroke; however, her life was greatly impacted during that time. She never was the same.
Treatment of AFib
Atrial fibrillation, known as AFib, is a heart condition that is rather common. AFib patients have irregular heartbeats which may lead to stroke or other complications. Some patients experience no symptoms while others may have fatigue, heart fluttering, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, or other signs. AFIb can often be treated successfully with medications to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke. In this case, the woman’s AFib was properly controlled while taking her medication. However, her doctor took her off this important medication and never put her back on it again, even though tests indicated it was necessary.
Medical Negligence Cases
This case demonstrates how the lack of a simple doctor’s order can have devastating results. We trust that our doctor will take proper care of us. In this instance, the doctor knew that the patient was taking medication for AFib yet failed to follow-through on treatment. The attorneys at Levin & Perconti were able to successfully prove that the doctor’s actions were negligent and the family received money for damages. Of course, money cannot replace the life of a loved one – but it can help to pay for the extensive medical treatments and care required due to the careless treatment by a medical professional. If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of the negligent actions of a doctor, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case today.