Featured Case: Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death
Our clients’ mother had knee replacement surgery in March 2010. After her surgery, she was transferred to a rehab facility. She was on Coumadin, an anticoagulant, at that time. Her medical records and the doctor’s orders from the hospital that performed the knee surgery were sent with her to the rehab center. The orders required an INR, a blood test that monitors coagulation status, to be run on our client’s mother twice weekly. The orders were incorrectly copied into our clients’ mother’s record at the rehab center. The rehab center employees changed “twice weekly” INR testing to “monthly INR.” Because her INR was not monitored as often as ordered, our clients’ mother became grossly over-anticoagulated, and her INR rose markedly from an already high 2.48 to 14.7. As a result, she was prone to extreme bleeding.
Our clients’ mother became anemic. The rehab facility physician ordered her to the infusion center for a transfusion. A surgeon inserted a large line into her jugular vein in her neck. The puncture caused her to suffer a massive bleed in her neck and chest area. That bleed caused injuries, which ultimately killed our clients’ mother. If the INR levels had been checked “twice weekly” instead of once monthly, the rehab center and the surgeon would have known that our client’s mother’s actual and current INR level was 14.7. With that knowledge, they could have made appropriate changes to the medical procedures they performed on her or not performed them at all until her INR was safe. The case settled for a confidential amount.