Case #1090: Pneumonia
On August 11, the Claimant’s Decedent was admitted to the Defendant Hospital for treatment as a result of an automobile accident. She was fifty years of age and in otherwise good health.
While confined at the Defendant Hospital and immediately prior to discharge, the Claimant’s Decedent developed an increase in her white blood count with a significant left shift, indicative of a significant infection. Additionally, she had a confirmed, right sided pneumonia, which was visible and diagnosed on her chest x-rays. Finally, she developed serious abdominal pain along with an absence of bowel sounds. Notwithstanding all of these signs, symptoms and findings, it is alleged that the Defendant Hospital’s personnel negligently discharged the Claimant’s Decedent on August 19, with no adequate work-up, tests and/or studies performed. Hospital personnel provided no adequate treatment and/or intervention for what was a serious, ongoing process.
On August 23, the Claimant’s Decedent was seen at the Defendant Hospital’s clinic. At that time, duly authorized agents and/or employees of the Defendant did absolutely nothing with respect to tests, studies and/or intervention to treat the Decedent’s condition. Again, she was negligently discharged with no plan for follow-up care.
As the direct and proximate result of the negligence of the hospital personnel in failing to diagnose and/or treat the Claimant’s condition, she collapsed at her home on August 27, and was transported back to the Defendant Hospital. By that time, her infection progressed to an empyema in her lung, meningitis, cerebritis, and even endocarditis — all resulting from the infection which was plainly evident prior to her discharge, but never diagnosed and/or appropriately treated. As a result of the Defendant Hospital personnel’s ongoing negligence, the Claimant’s Decedent ultimately succumbed to the widespread infection and died a painful and tragic death on October 9th, while she was still an inpatient at the Defendant Hospital.
It is asserted that had the Defendant Hospital personnel as well as the clinic personnel acted in accordance with the standards of care, the ongoing infectious process from which she was suffering would have been diagnosed with a proper antibiotic and/or surgical intervention necessary to treat the infection. Had the Defendant’s personnel acted in accordance with the standards of care, it is alleged that all of the injuries, damages and the death of the Claimant’s Decedent would have been avoided. In essence, she would have recovered and returned to her family to resume all of her normal activities.