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  • ER Malpractice—Failure to Timely Diagnose and Treat Vasculitis, Leading to Permanent Organ Damage: Bahoora v. Klemptner

Sommers Schwartz attorney Jay Yasso filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of a woman who developed permanent organ damage due to an emergency room doctor’s failure to diagnose and treat her rheumatological condition. 

The plaintiff presented to the defendant hospital’s ER complaining of worsening shortness of breath, swelling of the legs, and swelling of the right middle finger. Abnormal laboratory findings showed blood in the plaintiff’s urine. The plaintiff’s signs and symptoms were consistent with a rheumatological condition, yet the defendant neglected to respond in accordance with the accepted standard of medical care. Customary medical protocols would have included ordering a complete metabolic panel and checking the plaintiff’s protein levels, neither of which occurred. Further, the defendant physician failed to consult a rheumatologist and discharged the plaintiff without conducting a complete evaluation. 

The plaintiff returned to the ER a month later complaining of nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, coughs, and chills. The defendant ordered a renal biopsy, which revealed evidence of focal glomeruli nephritis with crescent formation. Despite these abnormal findings, the defendant failed to report the need for a further clinical workup and incorrectly attributed the patient’s symptoms to diabetic nephropathy. 

Ultimately, the plaintiff was determined to have vasculitis, which the defendants failed to timely diagnose and treat. The delay caused the blood vessels to major organs to become inflamed, resulting in decreased blood flow to these regions. The plaintiff developed hypotension, tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, and worsening pulmonary and renal functions. Eventually, the inflammation became so severe that it caused permanent damage to her kidneys and lungs. 

Because of her injuries, the plaintiff will require hemodialysis for the rest of her life. She can no longer perform normal household duties such as cooking, cleaning, vacuuming, washing clothes, or other forms of household maintenance. She will also incur significant lifelong expenses associated with transportation to and from hemodialysis and therapy treatments. 

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