“No human being should ever die from a urinary tract infection in today’s world of modern medicine.” That was the theme of a Maryland medical malpractice case in which the jury last week awarded $2.6 million dollars to the husband and two young children of a woman who indeed died after her physicians failed to timely and appropriately diagnose and treat her urinary tract infection (UTI).
On April 14, 2013, the 33 year-old woman presented to a local hospital with chief complaints of shortness of breath, back pain, nausea, vomiting, chills, dizziness and painful urination. Hours later, it was noted by nursing staff that the patient’s urine was dark in color. The family’s attorneys argued that the presence of an infection was clear and that the medical staff needed to administer antibiotics and make prompt arrangements for her to be transferred to a facility with the capabilities to care for her condition, such as an intensive care unit. Instead, the defendants delayed more than ten hours before administering antibiotics.
By that time, it was too late. The woman was suffering from sepsis, a significant and deadly process during which the body releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight infection, triggering inflammatory responses throughout the body and damaging multiple organ systems, causing vital organs to fail. She died just two days later. Experts for the family testified that this woman’s symptoms on presentation to the hospital “screamed of kidney infection, UTI and sepsis,” but the diagnosis was missed for a critically long period of time.
The jury’s award included money for future care for the young children, the cost of mental health care for the widower, and the loss of financial support that the woman would have provided had she not passed away.
Our medical malpractice attorneys at STSW have, on several occasions, successfully handled cases involving the failure to timely diagnose and treat infection resulting in sepsis. If you think you or someone you know might have been the victim of this, or any other type of medical mistake, call us today at 410-385-2225.