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heartbreaker (literally)

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  • Jurydoctor@aol.com
    Here s an interesting case for you. I would appreciate your opinion!! BTW a simialar case was presented on the show ER!! last year... 50 year old Shelley had
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 10, 2002
      Here's an interesting case for you. I would appreciate your opinion!! BTW a
      simialar case was presented on the show ER!! last year...

      50 year old Shelley had a 7 year history of chest pain for which she did not
      seek medical attention, It wasn't until she fainted at a wedding 1 year
      prior to her death that she sought treatment.

      On the day of her angioplasy procedure by using a stent (like a soda straw)
      to open the blocked artery, she started to experience chest pain and

      At 10:30 pm an EKG was done and was not signicant, the nurse administered
      Demerol and Sandy went into a deep sleep. At 2 am she had an abnormal EKG and
      at 2:30 am nurses assesed her blood pressure and chest pains.

      They called the doctor who diagnosed a blocked stent.

      An emergency procedure was done to re open the stent that was blocked with
      blood clots.

      During the emergency procedure the doctor pushed the wire in too far thru the
      stent and damaged Sandy's heart wall.

      At 6 am a coronary bypass procedure was performed to repair the perforated

      Surgery was completed at 11:50 AM. hER HEART WAS SO DAMAGED THAT sANDY WAS
      PUT ON A BLOOD PUMP. Now here is the interesting part:

      Sandy was a Jehovah's witness. She did not believe in a blood transfusion.
      The doctor's wanted to give her a blood transfusion to save her life.. The
      doctor testified that if he knew she was a Jehovah's witness he would not
      have done the angioplasty (only one artery was blocked).

      Another interesting fact is a day before the angioplasty, the doctor
      accidentally perforated her femoral artery performing an arteriogram,
      therefore Sandy would not be able to take any anti-coagulation medication.
      She was not referred to a bloodless surgery center.

      Sandy died 2 days after the bypass surgery. Her cause of death was heart
      damage due to a heart attack caused by the blockage and perforation from the
      wire causing a lack of oxygenated blood.

      Here are some things you need to know:
      somebody can have a heart attack without EKG findings.
      The vital signs were stable most of the time prior to the bypass surgery.
      Chest pains do not necessarily indicate a heart attack.
      The nurse did not know how to read an EKG
      A patient can have a heart attack without chest pain
      There were no complaints between 10:30 and 12:30 am, when her groin was
      checked for bleeding. She did, however, have low blood pressure from 11 pm
      until 12:48 am.

      Experts are unsure whether a blood transfusion would have made a difference.

      She had such extensive heart damage they could not wean her from the bypass
      After the bypass surgery she lay in her bed with her chest cavity open with
      her family saying goodbye to her- she was unable to sleep but she was crying
      as the goodbyes were said.

      Any body at fault?
      Her family- her husband and daughter are suing the doctors who performed the
      arteriogram and angioplasty, the heart surgeon who performed the by pass
      and the 3-11pm nurses and the 11pm - 7 am nurses.

      Is any one at fault?
      If yes who?
    • Barbara Dennis
      Dear Jury Doctor: The questions are: Who signed the consent for the procedures? Where were the suing daughter and husband before hospitalization? Who, other
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 14, 2002
        Dear Jury Doctor:
        The questions are: Who signed the consent for the procedures?
        Where were the "suing" daughter and husband
        before hospitalization?
        Who, other than the patient knew of her
        chest pain?

        Because: if Religion was a factor in the procedures' outcome-the daughter
        and husband had that information.
        If the patient was unable to sign for the procedures, some one had to
        sign. If it was that emergent, and no consent obtained-then the surgeon
        took on the risk based on the attempt to save her life. But the
        signatures on that consent form hold the responsibility. It has the risk
        clearly spelled out.
        From the information in your report-the doctors were fighting a losing
        battle due to the damaged condition of the heart-7 years of neglect.
        Everything else was an emergency attempt to repair.
        Other considerations are:
        The Living Will- all 50 year old people must have.
        The definition of Fainting.
        No Vital Signs based on Sandy's normal was available-No one knew what her
        normal was -she had been ill for 7 years. At best, text book norms
        were used as a baseline.
        The cause of death was the same as the cause of the fainting-lack of
        oxygenated blood caused by a blocked artery.
        And had she been alone at home-unattended-no diagnosis, no
        hospitalization, no treatment at all-what would the cause of death be?
        Every thing done after she was admitted required consent, explanation,
        and probable outcome of each procedure performed, and death is always a
        probable outcome of invasive procedures.

        A Shock-Trauma admission would not have these legal issues.
        And as for suing the doctors and nurses for providing more care for you
        than you provided for yourself, being more responsible for you, than you
        were for yourself, for being there, trying to undo your damage to
        trying to keep some one alive, when the patient had no intentions of
        saving her own life-through her religious beliefs, and her medical
        And a family who neglected the chest pains, and the other symptoms that
        presented themselves over the seven years-in todays 'medical savvy
        environment-were just waiting for this to occur.
        If the doctors had done nothing for the patient-just as the patient did
        for herself- it would be called negligence. Their harm was in trying to
        do NO HARM, when no matter what they did-as far as the patient was
        concerned-would have been harmful-as planned by the patient and family. A
        reasonable jury would think this through, and recognize what the
        daughter, and the husband are doing-cashing in on a woman neither of them
        cared enough about to seek medical attention for EIGHT YEARS AGO-when
        something preventive could have been done.
        No malice here, just calling it as I read it. 'suicide but make someone

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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