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  • Wrongful Death – Failure to Diagnose and Treat Aortic Dissection: Hubbard v. Beaumont Hospital

Sommers Schwartz attorney Matthew Turner filed a wrongful death action for the family of a woman who died after defendant doctors failed to diagnose and treat her aortic dissection on two separate emergency department visits.

According to the medical malpractice complaint, the decedent presented to the first emergency room at one of the defendant hospitals complaining of shortness of breath and chest pain. An echocardiogram was performed, but the cardiologist misread the echo and failed to inform the emergency room physician that the echocardiogram indicated a possible aortic dissection that would have necessitated further testing treatment, including cardiac surgery. The day after discharge the decedent went back to the emergency department at another of the defendant hospitals with severe pain in her neck, chest, and back. These symptoms demanded that a possible aortic dissection be worked up and ruled out. The patient was discharged with no workup. Left untreated, the aortic dissection ruptured and the decedent died two days later.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants were professionally negligent by failing to correctly interpret and report the echocardiogram and by failing to perform the appropriate tests to diagnose aortic dissection and not timely contacting a surgeon to fix the aorta. The complaint further alleges that had a CT scan, transesophageal echocardiogram, and other tests been performed, the aortic dissection would have been discovered, the decedent would have been immediately taken to surgery, and she would have survived.

The suit seeks damages for the decedent’s wrongful death, including pain and suffering, reasonable medical and funeral expenses, and compensation for the surviving family members’ loss of companionship.

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