- 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
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?
- Dear Jury Doctor:
The questions are: Who signed the consent for the procedures?
Where were the "suing" daughter and husband
Who, other than the patient knew of her
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]