Articles Tagged with emergency room

After a 54 year-old woman had to have amputations of both of her legs above the knees, her left arm below the elbow, and fingers from her right hand, she sued the healthcare providers in South Carolina whom she believed to be responsible.  The lawsuit alleged that the doctors failed to recognize that the woman was delving deep into deep septic shock.

When she arrived in the emergency department, she was not seen by a physician for five hours, despite the fact that she had a rapid respiratory rate of 28, a heart rate of 155 a low oxygen level of 89 percent and a fever of 103.1 degrees Fahrenheit.  She also was not given her first dose of antibiotics until some fourteen hours after admission, despite orders that such antibiotics be administered hours earlier.  She arrested in the emergency room and was successfully resuscitated.  From that point, her extremities started mottling and she began showing additional signs of ischemia (inadequate blood flow).  Thereafter she was transferred to another hospital where she underwent a triple amputation to save her life.

The jury’s award included $10 million for economic damages such as last wages and earning capacity and past and future medical and other care expenses that she will require for the remainder of her life.  The remainder of the award was for the woman’s non-economic damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress.  The defendants’ overarching position at trial was that the woman was admitted with two life-threatening conditions and that the care provided to her in fact saved her life.

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