$1.35 Million For Failing To Diagnose Internal Bleeding In Middletown, New York

Failure to Diagnose

John H. Fisher, P.C. recovered $1.35 million for the widow of a 53-year old male who bled to death following a thoracentesis (a procedure to drain excess fluid fro the outer lining of the lung) in Orange County, New York.

2 days after the thoracentesis, the patient’s blood values (hemoglobin and hematocrit) dropped by one-third. Hemoglobin and hematocrit (“H&H”) measure the oxygent content of the blood and a drop in H&H can be an early sign of internal bleeding. Post-operative bleeding is a complication that is sometimes associated with a thoracentesis.

The attending hospitalist at the hospital assumed that the drop in the hemoglobin and hematocrit was caused by a laboratory error and did not order a repeat study to confirm the accuracy of the results. Despite the signs and symptoms of internal bleeding, the patient continued to receive anticoagulation therapy, which thins the blood and quickens the rate of bleeding.

Within 36 hours of the drop in blood values, the patient bled to death while in the intensive care unit of the hospital. An autopsy revealed that the patient lost roughly half of the total blood volume in his body. The settlement proceeds will fund the surviving widow’s retirement plans and pay for her daughters to return to college.

$1.35 Million for Failing to Diagnose Internal Bleeding