Sommers Schwartz attorney Kenneth Watkins filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate of a 32-year-old man who died at Detroit Receiving Hospital. The patient, a type 1 diabetic, was admitted to the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis and chest pain. A week into his hospitalization, the patient suffered cardiac arrest and was given IV heparin for suspected deep vein thrombosis. Five days later, his doctors ordered a STAT head and abdominal CT scan to determine potential causes of a possible infection. When the scan was officially read 21.5 hours after it was first ordered – with no follow-up in the interim – it showed acute bleeding in the patient’s brain. A second CT scan showed the bleeding had markedly increased since the first scan. The patient never regained consciousness and died a few days later. The plaintiff claims that had the defendant doctors read the first CT scan in a timely fashion, administration of heparin would have been discontinued, medication to reverse the effects of heparin would have been administered, and a timely neurosurgical consultation would have been ordered, which would have prompted life-saving surgery. The patient’s estate is seeking damages including medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering, along with financial and other losses suffered by his next of kin. This case of physician malpractice and hospital negligence is now pending in Wayne County, Michigan Circuit Court.
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